Holtby to start; ‘banged up’ Ovechkin questionable

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Hey, remember last week when we wondered when Braden Holtby would get his next start in goal for the Washington Capitals? Well, looks like we have our answer — tonight versus Ottawa.

Holtby hasn’t started since Jan. 4, when he allowed five goals on just 11 shots in a 5-3 loss to the Wild. He also gave up five goals in each of his previous two starts, on Dec. 17 and 21.

Granted, Holtby was relatively solid in a pair of relief performances, on Friday and Sunday, after rookie Phillip Grubauer, now in the minors, was pulled. But the Caps have lost five straight and have just two wins in their last 11. If they’re going to keep giving up so many shots, they’re going to need better goaltending in order to get back into a playoff position. Or, they could not give up so many shots. Or, even, a bit of both.

And all that goes double if Alex Ovechkin isn’t able to suit up versus the Senators. As of now, he’s a game-time decision.

“He got a little banged up against the Rangers,” coach Adam Oates said, per the Washington Post. “He knows his body, he’s been hurt before. He knows whether he can go. We’ll decide tonight, he’s been getting treatments. [We’ll] come in tonight and see.”