On Tuesday, Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer led the Capitals to a nail-biting 6-5 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs after replacing a shaky Braden Holtby in the first period. On Thursday, however, Grubauer never came to mind, as Holtby managed a brilliant shutout against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who were going for an NHL record 17-straight wins in a single season. In fact, Grubauer wasn’t even on the bench most of the game.
“He was fine this morning, and then on his way here, he wasn’t feeling so good,” Caps head coach Barry Trotz said after the game. “We kept him in the back room. He was getting pumped full of fluids and stuff.”
The Capitals are set to fly to Ottawa in Friday morning to prepare for a game on Saturday. Grubauer, however, is expected to stay behind for a bit to recuperate before traveling to the Canadian capital later in the day. Trotz says he expects the German goalie to be available for the game against the Senators and has no plans to recall a goaltender from the minors.
“I think he’ll be fine,” the coach said of Grubauer Thursday night. “This way, he can visit our doctors and make sure we’re okay. If we have to adjust that we will, but I expect him to join us in Ottawa tomorrow. We’ve got an off day, just going in there, and I expect him to show up tomorrow night and be ready to back up in Ottawa.”
The Capitals have had an excellent netminding duo this year, with Holtby the reigning Vezina Trophy winner. Grubauer, meanwhile, has been superb as a backup with 7-1-1 record, a .929 save percentage, and a 1.94 goals-against average.
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