Philipp Grubauer will make his first career NHL start Saturday afternoon as the Capitals take on the Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Coach Adam Oates said all along that he wanted to split the back-to-back games this weekend in order to give Braden Holtby, who has made 11 consecutive starts, a rest even if just for one day.

Holtby is expected to start on Sunday against the New York Rangers at Verizon Center.

Oates said he also hopes that the Capitals will rally around the 21-year-old Grubauer as he makes his first NHL start.
“We’re looking for Grubs to come in and give us a little life in here,” Oates said. “Make sure that the troops fire up for him, maybe [create] a little spark.”