Netminder Braden Holtby has moved past Washington Capitals legend Olaf Kolzig to become the franchise’s all-time leader in playoff wins.
Holtby made 42-saves, including six in overtime, to back stop the Capitals to a 4-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the opening game of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Thursday.
It was the 26-year-old’s 21st victory in his 41st playoff game for the Capitals, exactly the same number of post season games Kolzig featured in for the organization during his long tenure with the team. Holtby is now 5-2 during the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, with a .960 save percentage and 1.12 goals against average. He also shut out the Philadelphia Flyers twice during the first round.
The Saskatoon native’s career playoff numbers stand at an impressive .940 save percentage and 1.79 goals-against average with four shut outs.
Holtby was also named as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy on Thursday, and is widely considered to be the front runner to win the award at the NHL’s glitzy ceremony, which will be hosted by comedian Will Arnett this year.
T.J. Oshie was the hero for Washington in Game 1, registering a hat trick–including the game winner in overtime–to lead the Capitals to victory. Andre Burakovsky also got on the board with Ben Lovejoy, Evgeni Malkin and Nick Bonino scoring for Pittsburgh, who outshot the Capitals 45-35.
Game 2 of the series will take place at the Verizon Center in Washington on Saturday (faceoff 8PM EST) before the action moves to Pittsburgh’s Consol Energy Center on Monday.