Holtby backstops Capitals to sixth straight win

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Alex Ovechkin has been carrying the red-hot Washington Capitals for weeks. On Thursday, it was Braden Holtby who stepped up.

The 23-year-old goalie made 43 stops in the Capitals 3-1 win over the fading Carolina Hurricanes. That’s six straight wins for the Capitals, as they maintained their lead in the Southeast Division.

“He [Braden Holtby] was outstanding throughout the whole game,” said Capitals defenseman Mike Green on the play of Holtby.

“Even in the last five to 10 minutes he made some saves that should have been goals.”

The Capitals also maintained their dominance over their Southeast rivals. The win over Carolina gives Washington a 13-3-0 record on their division rivals.

That’s a huge reason for why they’ve jumped back into the thick of the playoff picture.

Against the Atlantic Division, the Capitals have a record of 4-9-2. Against the Northeast Division, they have a 5-5-0 record.

“It’s been our saving grace this year,” Holtby told the Washington Post. “It’s been lucky that we’ve got to play those teams so much, but at the same time, we’ve done a good job with them and we haven’t taken a lot of those games lightly because we know how important they are.”