Michal Neuvirth was supposed to start on Friday night, giving Braden Holtby a rest prior to tonight’s contest against the New York Islanders. That plan went sideways when Neuvirth stepped on a puck during warmups, injuring himself and forcing Holtby into the starting role unexpectedly.
He came up big against the Montreal Canadiens, stopping 35 of the 37 shots he faced en route to a 3-2 shootout win. The Washington Capitals will go with Holtby for the second straight game, and for the back-end of a back-to-back series that will see the goalie play twice in as many nights.
Brooks Laich will miss a second straight game. Holtby to start on the Island.
— Katie Carrera (@kcarrera) November 30, 2013
It’s unclear how significant the injury to Neuvirth is, but the Caps are likely to continue to roll with Holtby for the foreseeable future. Not that this is a big change in plans for the player or team. He’s been among the busier goalies in the NHL so far this season, and is 10th in the league in minutes played and fourth in shots faced.
Philipp Grubauer was recalled from the AHL to backup Holtby. Through nine games in the AHL this season, Grubauer is 4-4-1 and has a .910 save percentage.