Holtby has strong performance in relief

Holtby has strong performance in relief
January 17, 2014, 9:30 pm
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(Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

By Paul Rigney

Resigned to the bench for the opening stages of the Capitals-Blue Jackets contest, Braden Holtby probably was not expecting to see any action.

However, after Philipp Grubauer gave up a Ryan Johansen goal that stretched the Jackets lead to 3-0, Capitals coach Adam Oates decided to make the switch.  Holtby performed admirably in relief, making 20 saves for the remainder of the contest and surrendering two 3rd period goals.  

He saw a lot of shots early, making three impressive saves right away in the 2nd period and provided some stability in net for the Capitals, who would make the game close with a score later in the period.  

Holtby holding the Blue Jackets scoreless in the 2nd is a likely confidence booster for the net-minder, who hadn't seen the ice since a January 4th contest in Minnesota where the Wild beat the Capitals, 5-3.