The Washington Post

Braden Holtby tries for empty-net goal

Up two goals with less than 10 seconds left in the third period, the Caps had secured the “W” in last night’s game against the Sabres. Braden Holtby knew this, and took the opportunity to sail the puck toward Buffalo’s empty net in the game’s final seconds.

“It’s kind of something that you want to make sure we have the game in the bag first, so it’s something that I’ve always thought of – trying to score a goal – but it’s not my first priority,” Holtby said, via the Washington Times.

“I hit the post in Hershey once,” he continued. “That was as close as I could get.”

This time wasn’t as close. The puck didn’t get far before Alex Ovechkin got a hold of it at center ice. Boooo, Ovi.

The goalie goal is an elusive feat, with only a handful of goaltenders getting to add it to their resume. No Caps goalie has done it, and the closest the team has been to one was in 1989, when the Caps were on the receiving end of a shot by the Flyer’s goalie Ron Hextall.

I took a page out of Dan’s playbook and hit the archives. The Post’s Caps game story from April 12, 1989, by Robert Fachet, began like this:

Ron Hextall left the Washington Capitals feeling as empty as their net last night when he became the first goaltender in Stanley Cup history to score a goal.

Hextall’s 180-foot shot with 62 seconds remaining put the icing on an 8-5 victory for the Philadelphia Flyers, who scored four times in the last 12 minutes to erase a 5-4 Washington lead.

Ouch. The Flyers ended up wining that best-of-seven series, four games to two.

Here’s a fun goalie goals compilation, including the Hextall shot at the 0:16 mark. Jose Theodore also makes an appearance, although not as a Capital.




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Dan Steinberg · March 18, 2013