For a third straight year, Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby has been selected to the NHL All-Star Game, joining captain Alex Ovechkin, the top fan-vote recipient in the Metropolitan Division, and Coach Barry Trotz as Washington’s representatives in Tampa at the end of this month.

The roster announcements by the league Wednesday contained one bitter surprise for Washington as defenseman John Carlson was left off. Carlson is second among NHL defensemen in scoring with five goals and 29 assists, but with a three-on-three format, each divisional team has just three defensemen, while every NHL team is required to have a representative in the game. The Metropolitan defensemen selected were Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang, Columbus’s Seth Jones and Carolina’s Noah Hanifin. Jones and Hanifin are their team’s only representatives.

Letang’s selection is especially curious because while he’s been one of the league’s best defensemen over his career, he has struggled this season with just three goals and 24 assists. The Penguins also already had a representative: center Sidney Crosby.

Carlson might also have been snubbed because the NHL wanted to avoid naming too many players from one team. Philadelphia defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere also had a strong case to make the team with nine goals and 23 assists this season.

Nine teams have multiple representatives, with the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning sending a league-high four players to the game: Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Meanwhile, former Washington Capital Mike Green will represent the Detroit Red Wings as a defenseman for the Atlantic Division team.

“I think everybody thinks about it,” Carlson said Tuesday night. “This is a tough team to sneak in on because there’s so many other great players that are at the top of the league. I think everyone wants to go, though.”

This is the second year Ovechkin and Holtby will be at the All-Star Game together, and while Holtby’s numbers aren’t quite as impressive as the past two seasons, when he was a Vezina Trophy finalist twice, he arguably has meant more to the team this season. With a less experienced defense corps in front of him, Holtby has posted a record of 24-8-0 with a 2.68 goals against average and .917 save percentage in 32 games. He ranks second in the NHL in wins (24), and Holtby has allowed two goals or fewer in 16 of his 32 games this season with Washington 15-1-0 in those games. Earlier this season, Holtby recorded his 200th career win in his 319th career game, becoming the second-fastest player in NHL history to reach the milestone.

Holtby’s three straight all-star selections is a record for a Washington goaltender.

Capitals head equipment manager Brock Myles was named the Metropolitan Division equipment manager. Myles, in his 12th season with Washington, will be joined by Capitals assistant equipment manager Craig “Woody” Leydig, equipment assistant Dave Marin and locker room assistant Ray Straccia.

NHL All-Star Game rosters:

Atlantic Division (all-star appearance)
F Aleksander Barkov, FLA (1st)
F Jack Eichel, BUF (1st)
F Nikita Kucherov, TBL (2nd)
F Brad Marchand, BOS (2nd)
F Auston Matthews, TOR (2nd)
F Steven Stamkos*, TBL (5th)
D Mike Green, DET (2nd)
D Victor Hedman, TBL (2nd)
D Erik Karlsson, OTT (5th)
G Carey Price, MTL (6th)
G Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL (1st)
Head Coach: Jon Cooper, TBL (1st)

Metropolitan Division
F Josh Bailey, NYI (1st)
F Sidney Crosby, PIT (3rd)
F Claude Giroux, PHI (5th)
F Taylor Hall, NJD (3rd)
F Alex Ovechkin*, WSH (7th)
F John Tavares, NYI (5th)
D Noah Hanifin, CAR (1st)
D Seth Jones, CBJ (2nd)
D Kris Letang, PIT (4th)
G Braden Holtby, WSH (3rd)
G Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (4th)
Head Coach: Barry Trotz, WSH (3rd)

Central Division
F Patrick Kane, CHI (7th)
F Nathan MacKinnon, COL (2nd)
F Brayden Schenn, STL (1st)
F Tyler Seguin, DAL (5th)
F Eric Staal, MIN (5th)
F Blake Wheeler, WPG (1st)
D John Klingberg, DAL (1st)
D Alex Pietrangelo, STL (1st)
D P.K. Subban*, NSH (3rd)
G Connor Hellebuyck, WPG (1st)
G Pekka Rinne, NSH (2nd)
Head Coach: Peter Laviolette, NSH (3rd)

Pacific Division
F Brock Boeser, VAN (1st)
F Johnny Gaudreau, CGY (4th)
F Anze Kopitar, LAK (4th)
F Connor McDavid*, EDM (2nd)
F James Neal, VGK (3rd)
F Rickard Rakell, ANA (1st)
D Brent Burns, SJS (5th)
D Drew Doughty, LAK (4th)
D Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI (2nd)
G Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK (3rd)
G Jonathan Quick, LAK (3rd)
Head Coach: Gerard Gallant, VGK (2nd)

* Fan-elected captain

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