Caps' No. 1 goalie hungry for more hardware

Caps' No. 1 goalie hungry for more hardware

Thanks largely to a record-tying 48 wins, Braden Holtby captured his first Vezina Trophy last June. It’d probably be wise for the 27-year-old to go ahead and clear out another spot on that mantle.

The Capitals and their elite starting netminder will try to stay hot vs. Philadelphia, with a 7:30 p.m. ET opening draw this evening at the Verizon Center. Online sports book gives the hosts odds of -260 to snatch triumph No. 44. Dave Hakstol’s crew, on the other hand, represents a +210 underdog.

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Two nights ago, Holtby made 15 saves to lift Washington to a 1-0 verdict against Metropolitan Division rival New Jersey. It was the Saskatchewan native’s league-leading eighth shutout of the season. He’s on pace for 46 victories, too, which would match Evgeni Nabokov for the fifth-most in a single campaign.

Philly can only dream of such consistently great work between the pipes. Veteran Steve Mason did, however, stop 39 of 40 shots in the squad’s shootout W over Florida earlier in the week. In addition, he is 9-6-2 in 18 career meetings with the Caps.

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Clearly, though, Mason faces a nearly impossible challenge here. Barry Trotz’s club has not lost in regulation at home since a 2-1 defeat to Montreal on Dec. 17. If T.J. Oshie (upper body) actually returns to the mix, too, we’re looking at an absolute rout.



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