Washington recalled goaltender Braden Holtby from the AHL’s Hershey Bears and he is on the ice taking part in the morning skate ahead of Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Holtby is expected to back-up Michal Neuvirth against the Flyers but arrival means that Tomas Vokoun remains sidelined by a lower-body injury and would be unable to serve as even a backup for tonight’s contest. Vokoun has missed two days of practice with the injury.
Holtby, 22, recorded a 17-save shutout in a 3-0 win for the Bears over the Binghamton Senators Saturday night. After the victory he drove to Washington and got into town around 2:30 a.m., but he didn’t want to risk being late for practice.
For Hershey this season, Holtby is 20-14-2 with a 2.54 goals-against average and .908 save percentage.
“It’s been up and down, it’s been a bit of a struggle at times,” Holtby said of his season. “It’s been tough, I haven’t felt like I’ve played my best hockey for sure but there has been some positives come out of it. After Christmas I think it’s really starting to turn around, playing a little better which is good.”
Holtby has appeared in only one NHL game this season, Feb. 13 when he made a surprise start against the San Jose Sharks. He allowed five goals on 35 shots in the Capitals’ 5-3 loss to San Jose that day.
Holtby was recalled on an emergency basis, according to a team spokesman, and because the trade deadline has passed there is no longer a maximum number of players that can be on the active roster.
Because of the nature of the emergency recall, Holtby can remain in Washington for as long as Vokoun is injured.