By Chris Gordon
On Saturday night, the Capitals turned in a mediocre game against the Ottawa Senators. But who cares? They had Braden Holtby in net. Holtby made 30 saves to blank the Sens, just two days after the Lloydminster, Saskatchewan native helped break the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 16-game winning streak with a 29 save whitewash.
Overall, Holtby was 2-0-0 last week (including a no decision) with a 1.29 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage. He earned back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his career against Columbus and Ottawa.
Michael Grabner of the New York Rangers was the league’s first star with five goals and two assists while the Oilers’ Patrick Maroon took second place with five goals and a helper.
More from the league:
NEW YORK (Jan. 9, 2017) – New York Rangers right wing Michael Grabner, Edmonton Oilers left wing Patrick Maroon and Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 8.
FIRST STAR – MICHAEL GRABNER, RW, NEW YORK RANGERS
Grabner led the League with 5-2—7, including two game-winning goals, in three contests to propel the Rangers (28-13-1, 57 points) to a pair of victories. He was held off the scoresheet in a 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Jan. 3, but potted the winning tallies – as well as consecutive multi-point and +4 performances – in the following two games: 2-1—3 in a 5-2 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers Jan. 4 and 3-1—4 in a 5-4 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets Jan. 7. The latter included his fourth career hat trick and second of the season (also Oct. 30 vs. TBL) as well as his second career four-point outing (also Dec. 19, 2015 vs. LAK: 2-2—4 w/ TOR). The 29-year-old Villach, Austria, native shares sixth place in the NHL with 19 goals (19-8—27) in 41 appearances this season, his highest total since 2011-12 (20 G in 78 GP w/ NYI).
SECOND STAR – PATRICK MAROON, LW, EDMONTON OILERS
Maroon (5-1—6 in 4 GP) matched Grabner for the League lead in goals to power the Oilers (21-14-7, 49 points) to a 2-2-0 week. He collected one assist in a 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Jan. 3 before registering his first career hat trick, including the winning goal, in a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins Jan. 5. Maroon then was held off the scoresheet in a 2-1 overtime triumph against the New Jersey Devils Jan. 7, but scored twice – his fifth career multi-goal outing – in a 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators Jan. 8. The 28-year-old St. Louis native paces the Oilers with 16 goals (16-7—23) in 42 contests this season, already five more than his previous career high established in 2013-14 (11 G in 62 GP w/ ANA).
THIRD STAR – BRADEN HOLTBY, G, WASHINGTON CAPITALS
Holtby went 2-0-0 in three games, compiling a 1.29 goals-against average, .955 save percentage and two shutouts to guide the Capitals (25-9-5, 55 points) to a perfect 3-0-0 week. He yielded three goals in a 6-5 overtime victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs Jan. 3 (ND). Holtby then earned consecutive shutouts for the first time in his career (275 GP), making 29 saves to halt the Columbus Blue Jackets’ winning streak at 16 games (5-0 W on Jan. 5) – one shy of the League record – and 30 saves to defeat the Ottawa Senators (1-0 W on Jan. 7). The 27-year-old Lloydminster, Sask., native places in the top five in the NHL in shutouts (t-1st; 5), goals-against average (2nd; 1.93) and save percentage (4th; .931) in 31 outings this season (18-8-4).
And here’s what the Capitals had to say:
ARLINGTON, Va. – Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby has been named the NHL’s “Third Star” for the week ending Jan. 8, the NHL announced today.
Holtby posted a 2-0-0 record with two shutouts, a 1.29 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage to guide the Capitals (25-9-5, 55 points) to a perfect 3-0-0 week. Holtby earned consecutive shutouts for the first time in his career (275 GP), making 29 saves to halt the Columbus Blue Jackets’ winning streak at 16 games (5-0 W on Jan. 5) – one shy of the League record – and 30 saves to defeat the Ottawa Senators (1-0 W on Jan. 7). The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native ranks tied for first in the NHL in shutouts (5), second in goals-against average (1.93) and fourth in save percentage (.931) in 31 games this season (18-8-4).
Headline photo: Patrick Smith
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