Before this series began there were some questions about how Braden Holtby would handle the Bruins’ efforts to invade the crease. The Capitals knew the 22-year-old would defend his turf, and in Game 1 he showed everyone else he would too.
Holtby pushed Boston foes out of the way and when Chris Kelly tried to get a little too cozy in front of the net, the rookie netminder wound up with a roughing penalty for shoving the forward away.
While he expressed regret for putting Washington at a disadvantage with another penalty to kill off, Holtby made it clear he won’t back down.
“That’s my game. That’s where I like to [be]. That’s my crease,” Holtby said. “I don’t really like to let anyone in there because I want to fight as hard as I can to find the puck. It was a pretty reactive play.”
Like the Capitals as a whole, Holtby wasn’t dwelling much on the Game 1 loss but rather looking toward what he could improve upon from his 29-save outing for Saturday’s Game 2 matinee.
His confidence is consistent at this stage, Holtby said. It’s all about making progress as the series continues.
“I made mistakes [Thursday], I got lucky a few times,” Holtby said. “I know it wasn’t a perfect game, I’m going to try to work toward that next game.
“They’re an aggressive team, they play to win,” Holtby said. “Our job is to counter that especially myself battling for position in my crease and to find shots through traffic. There were times when I lost it [Thursday] and I want to be better at it [in Game 2].”
More on the Capitals:
— Shot-blocking efforts frustrate Bruins
— Caps’ lines the same from Game 1
— Boston searches for more offense
— Krejci says he’s fine for Game 2
— The hit heard’round the NHL
— Game 1: Capitals fall to Bruins in OT
— Ovechkin needs to focus on offense
— Nothing but praise for Braden Holtby
— Photos: Scenes from Game 1 at TD Garden
— First-round NHL playoff schedule
— Interactive: Capitals vs. Bruins shot tracker