Braden Holtby wasn’t all that impressed with his first career playoff shutout. Following the Capitals’ 1-0 overtime win over the Rangers in Game 2 of their first-round series on Saturday, the 23-year-old goaltender was excited with the result, but didn’t feel as if the Blueshirts provided much of a challenge. “It wasn’t a very hard game for me,” Holtby said after making 24 saves and leading the Capitals to a 2-0 series lead. “It wasn’t a very straining game on a goalie.” The Rangers couldn’t be offended and couldn’t even really argue. There was little evidence disproving Holtby’s assessment. Heading into tonight’s Game 3 at Madison Square Garden, Holtby has allowed one goal on 60 shots through the first two games, but was given no reason to sweat during the most stressful minutes of Game 2, with the Rangers not recording a shot on goal in the eight minutes of overtime and only five in the third period. The Rangers know their offense needs to improve in every situation, with the team’s answers for rehabilitation ranging from cryptic and hypothetical to a healthier amount of optimism than any anecdotal evidence from this series could justify. But it doesn’t have to be pretty. It just has to go in. And if Holtby can’t see the puck traveling toward the net, it’s unlikely he’ll feel unchallenged again.
Rangers must turn up heat on Holtby
New York Post | May 6