Tag: Braden Holtby

Chris Kreider

Video: Kreider gives the Rangers an early lead


Chris Kreider opened the scoring 38 seconds into the first period with his second goal of the playoffs.

Braden Holtby struggled to control the rebound off of Jesper Fast’s shot leaving Kreider with a wide open net.

New York second: Capitals stun Rangers for 1-0 series lead

Joel Ward Alex Ovechkin John Carlson

The Washington Capitals grabbed a Game 1 win against the New York Rangers with the kind of buzzer-beating sequence that won’t be forgotten for some time.

Nicklas Backstrom delivered a questionable hit on Dan Boyle before Joel Ward managed the 2-1 game-winner with less than two seconds remaining.

Boyle immediately left the ice, so we’ll see if the Rangers lose more than just the contest. The two teams brawled after the whistle, and one could assume that it had much to do with that Backstrom hit, Tanner Glass being sent sprawling onto Henrik Lundqvist and Chris Kreider’s collision with Braden Holtby.

Of course, it might have just been about the staggering series event that ended the contest.

The Capitals leaned heavily on Holtby in this one, as it seemed like he would make Alex Ovechkin’s first-period laser stand as the lone tally of the night. Instead, Jesper Fast was credited with a deflection goal with a little more than four-and-a-half minutes remaining in the third, giving the impression that we’d get the first overtime squabble of the second round.

Obviously, that was not to be, as Ward found the net for another big goal. The guy just seems to have a knack for playoff scoring … especially when a new contract is on the line.

This loss really has to hurt the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Rangers, but if previous Ovechkin/Lundqvist-era series are any indication, we could see many twists and turns before one team advances to the Eastern Conference finals.

Video: Kreider collides with Holtby


It’s been a hectic third period for Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, and not just because the New York Rangers are pressing to tie Game 1.

Notorious crease-crasher Chris Kreider provided the most controversial moment, as he collided with Holtby. Judge that situation for yourself, as more than a few people were upset with the moment (which didn’t draw a penalty):

Holtby seemed in peril at times, as he also seemed briefly shaken up by a stick under the mask. (Perhaps he made a savvy move to get a whistle … or a combination of both?)

Those bumps and bruises will be easier for Holtby to manage if he can hold off the Rangers. Tune in to NBCSN to find out if he can.

Caps send Game 2 winner Grubauer back to minors

Alex Ovechkin, Philipp Grubauer

Bit of an interesting move in Washington today — the Caps sent Philipp Grubauer, who won an emergency start for the ailing Braden Holtby in Game 2 against the Isles, back to AHL Hershey.

Grubauer, 23, stopped 18 shots to earn his first career playoff win — in his first playoff start — a victory that proved crucial for the Caps as they went the full seven games before finally dispatching of New York. Grubauer was given the nod ahead of Holtby’s usual backup, Justin Peters, because he’d been playing regularly at the AHL level — opposed to Peters, who hasn’t seen game action since Mar. 28.

It remains to be seen how long Grubauer will be in Hershey. Barry Trotz kept him up for the duration of the Isles series after the Game 2 win, saying the German ‘tender had “earned” the opportunity to stick around. Today’s demotion will also allow Grubauer to participate in Hershey’s first-round Calder Cup playoff series, but also be nearby for a call-up; Washington opens its series with the Rangers on Thursday, then plays Game 2 at MSG on Saturday.

Nothing but Kuznetsov: Caps best Isles in Game 7

New York Islanders v Washington Capitals - Game Five

During the offseason, the Washington Capitals spent big bucks on their defense after hiring head coach Barry Trotz. Those two factors seemed to come in quite handy in a Game 7 win against the New York Islanders.

Now, of course, the highlight reels will favor Evgeny Kuznetsov’s slick game-winner, and it’s easy to see why:

Still, the Capitals played a nearly perfect defensive game, however people feel about officiating and other issues. In fact, most would probably agree that even Braden Holtby’s goal allowed was more about the strong netminder having a rare (and almost critical) lapse.

Incredibly, Washington held the Islanders to just 11 shots on goal in the entire game. The most suffocating span probably came during the first period:


Jaroslav Halak had his adventurous moments with wild bounces off the boards, yet he was often outstanding, nearly befuddling the Capitals in yet another elimination situation. It’s unlikely the Islanders are looking on the bright side right now, but at least they should feel confident about locking down a goalie who remains excellent with everything on the line (even with this loss, he’s 6-2 in elimination games during his postseason career).

With this, the Capitals move on to face the New York Rangers in a rivalry that’s becoming familiar to fans of this Ovechkin-era Washington team. One could argue that, when you consider the strengths of both teams, this might just be the best the two squads have been collectively.

It’s a crushing feeling for the Islanders, who move from Long Island to Brooklyn with a heavy heart (though they at least closed Nassau Coliseum with a win).

Harsh or not, some will single out Islanders captain John Tavares:

(To be fair, Tavares had a nice series overall.)

Many will wonder why Isles bench boss Jack Capuano didn’t pull Jaroslav Halak during an honestly surprising late power-play opportunity, but ultimately, it was a team letdown for New York. They’ll have an uncomfortable amount of time to think about that … and possibly make some changes to continue their strides toward contender status in the East.

That said, considering serious injuries to their defense corps, the Islanders may at least find some sweetness to go along with all the bitter feelings of seeing their season end on Monday. It just might take some time.