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Braden Holtby To Make Eighth Consecutive Start
Capitals head coach Adam Oates thought about having Michal Neuvirth in net against Philadelphia before the goaltender fell ill, leading to Philipp Grubauer’s emergency recall from Hershey on Wednesday morning.
BY ZAC BOYER
PHILADELPHIA – Adam Oates said goaltender Braden Holtby will make his eighth consecutive start for the Capitals on Wednesday against Philadelphia, though he briefly considered having Michal Neuvirth in net before learning he had fallen ill.
Philipp Grubauer, the Capitals’ top goaltending prospect, was an emergency recall from Hershey earlier in the day and will serve as Holtby’s backup against the Flyers.
“I haven’t seen Gruby enough, quite honestly,” the head coach said. “Not that he can’t handle it, but it’s a tough building and we’re on a little bit of a roll and I want to keep it going.”
The Capitals (7-10-1) have won two consecutive games and five of their last seven. They defeated Philadelphia (9-11-1) at Verizon Center on Feb. 1 in the teams’ only previous meeting.
Holtby had his second shutout of the season on Tuesday in a 3-0 victory against Carolina, stopping 33 shots. He has lowered his goals against average to 3.07 and has a .905 save percentage entering Wednesday’s game.
Grubauer, a 21-year-old from Germany, spent the start of the season in the ECHL with Reading before replacing Holtby with Hershey when the lockout ended. He has a 2.10 GAA and a .928 save percentage in 11 games with the Bears.
“Well, nothing I could do about [being assigned to] Reading,” Grubauer said. “I mean, it’s been, when you look at it, I’ve been on the [AHL] for a couple weeks or so, played only 11 games, and now I’m up here. It’s amazing how it all works, how fast it all goes. I tried to soak it in today and tried to get my first NHL taste.”
Oates also said both Mike Green and John Erskine should be set to face the Flyers. Green missed three games because of a groin injury before returning Tuesday, while Erskine took a shot off the ankle and also was hit hard into the boards.
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