Caps stick to plan, sit Holtby with chance to break record
WASHINGTON (AP) Philipp Grubauer started in goal for the Washington Capitals against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, instead of Braden Holtby getting a chance to break Martin Brodeur's NHL single-season wins record.
Holtby got win No. 48 on Saturday in St. Louis but Trotz said he wasn't be given the opportunity to set the record because it's not worth the risk in the meaningless regular-season finale, especially in the second half of a back-to-back.
''He shares a record,'' Trotz said. ''I think the bigger plan is about what we want to do as a team. It's too important to put at risk for individual glory, so we're not doing that.''
The game carries value for the Ducks, who would clinch the Pacific Division title with a victory. The Capitals long ago clinched the Presidents' Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs and are expected to sit several regulars.
Trotz says Holtby, a leading candidate for the Vezina Trophy, was OK with the team's decision to play Grubauer against the Ducks.
''It was the plan that we had all along going forward,'' Trotz said. ''He was great with it.''
After making 19 saves to beat the Blues on Saturday night, Holtby said: ''I would love to play every game. But I don't make those decisions.''
Holtby has played 66 games this season and is among the league leaders with a 2.20 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. Brodeur played 78 games when he set the record in 2006-07.
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was in Washington when the Capitals drafted and began developing Holtby. He said the team projected Holtby ahead of its two NHL goalies at the time, Semyon Varlamov and Michael Neuvirth, at his first summer development camp.
''You could see it, that he was going to be great,'' Boudreau said. ''He just had a lot going for him. By winning it in Hershey and he's just getting better every year. Now instead of a boy, he looks just like a young man with a lot of confidence.''
Grubauer entered the game 8-8-1 this season with a 2.34 GAA and .918 save percentage.
AP Sports Writer R.B. Fallstrom in St. Louis contributed to this report.
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