When goalies leave their crease to go after a loose puck bad things can happen.
They can misplay the puck. They can turn it over. They can lose the race. They can get caught out of position.
Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby has no time for any of those concerns, and demonstrated his fearless demeanor in the second period on Monday night.
Just as the Maple Leafs were successfully killing off a 5-on-3 situation, Mitch Marner seemed to have a clear path to picking up a loose puck just inside the Capitals blue line for what would have been a breakaway.
That is, until Holtby came flying out nowhere, sliding across the ice, and just managing to get his stick on the puck to knock it away from Marner, not only preventing a breakaway, but also narrowly avoiding what could have been a disastrous result for he and the Capitals.
At that point the Capitals were holding onto a 3-1 lead, but it would not last.
Thanks to a pair of Maple Leafs goals late in the second period the two teams went into the break tied at three. So while Holtby’s gamble paid off on the short-term, it still was not enough to help the Capitals maintain their lead.