Coach Adam Oates initially intended to give Braden Holtby a rest Wednesday night when the Capitals visited the Philadelphia Flyers. But when Michal Neuvirth, who hasn’t played since Feb. 7, became ill it forced him to change those plans.
Holtby will make his eighth straight start after all and he’ll be backed up by top goaltending prospect Philipp Grubauer, who has yet to make his NHL debut.
“Obviously Holts had a great game last night, and not that I wasn’t worried about Holts tonight but he’s gonna get it,” Oates explained just a little over two hours before the opening faceoff. “I haven’t seen Gruby enough, quite honestly. 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.”
Holtby made 33 saves for his second shutout of the season in Washington’s 3-0 win over Carolina Tuesday night, but Oates said he doesn’t think the previous day’s workload will weigh heavily on the goaltender.
“He had a few shots last night, but not a lot of quality chances. Not a lot of work in front of the net,” Oates said. “I’m quite sure he’s capable of doing it, you know? It would have been a mental break for him tonight to put Neuvy in.”
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Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Wells Fargo Center | TV: CSN locally, NBC Sports Network nationally | Radio: 106.7
Based on warmups here’s what the lineup should look like:
Goal: Holtby, Grubauer.
Scratches: Michal Neuvirth (ill), Casey Wellman, Jeff Schultz and Roman Hamrlik.
IR: Marcus Johansson, Jack Hillen and Brooks Laich (non-roster).