Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby accomplished a bit of history on Tuesday night.
After posting 26 saves against the Minnesota Wild, the Holtbeast tallied his 40th win of the season. That’s significant because Holtby became the sixth goaltender ever to have three career 40-win seasons. He also became the third goaltender of all-time to post three consecutive 40-win seasons.
Holtby is now in the company of Martin Brodeur (2005-08) and Evgeni Nabokov (2007-10). (Okay, well at least the Marty comparison is impressive.)
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 29, 2017
Now sure, some of you might say modern goaltenders have an easier time reaching a milestone like this because there are no more ties. But it’s our party and you’re buzz-killing booty is not invited.
Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby made 26 saves on Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center to earn his 40th win of the season (40-11-6). Holtby has posted 40-wins in three consecutive seasons (2014-15: 41, 2015-16: 48), joining Martin Brodeur (2005-08) and Evgeni Nabokov (2007-10) as the only goaltenders in NHL history to record three straight 40-win seasons. In addition, Holtby is the sixth goaltender in NHL history to post three career 40-win seasons, joining Brodeur (8), Miikka Kiprusoff (3), Nabokov (3), Jacques Plante (3) and Terry Sawchuk (3). Holtby, 27, is the second-youngest goaltender to record three 40-win seasons, trailing Sawchuk (25).
Holtby leads the NHL in shutouts (8) this season, ranks second in goals-against average (2.04) and wins (40) and tied for third in save percentage (.926). The 6’2”, 217-pound goaltender posted a 14-game winning streak from Jan. 1 to Feb. 11, tying the second-longest winning streak in NHL history (Gilles Gilbert: 17-0-0, 1975-76) and marking the longest winning streak in Capitals history. In addition, Holtby posted a 21-game point streak from Dec. 29 to March 4 (19-0-2), marking the third-longest point streak in franchise history, trailing Jose Theodore in 2009-10 (20-0-3) and himself last season (20-0-2). Holtby joins Pete Peeters (1979-80, 1982-83) as the only goaltenders in NHL history to post two single-season unbeaten streaks of 20 or more decisions.
Holtby earned his 150th career win on Oct. 15 against the Islanders, becoming the third-fastest goaltender in NHL history to reach 150 wins (246 GP), trailing Ken Dryden (241 GP) and Andy Moog (245 GP). On March 21 against Calgary, Holtby played in his 300th NHL/Capitals game. Dryden (193) is the only player in NHL history to earn more wins through his first 300 NHL games than Holtby (186). In addition, Holtby is the second goaltender in franchise history to play 300 games with the Capitals, joining Olie Kolzig (711). Holtby, who was drafted by the Capitals in the fourth round, 93rd overall, in the 2008 NHL Draft and was the 10th goaltender selected, is the first goaltender from the 2008 NHL Draft class to reach 300 NHL games played.
Holtby’s 40 wins this season are the fourth-most in Capitals history. He has posted three of the top-four winningest seasons by a goaltender in franchise history and his eight shutouts this season are the third-most in franchise history, trailing his 2014-15 season (9 SO) and Jim Carey in 1995-96 (9 SO). Holtby earned his 30th career shutout on Feb. 7 against Carolina, becoming the fourth-fastest active goaltender to record 30 shutouts (277 GP), trailing Brian Elliott (250), Pekka Rinne (263) and Tuukka Rask (272).
The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native has posted a 189-71-31 record in his career with 31 shutouts, a 2.30 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. He ranks first in Capitals history in goals-against average and save percentage and second in wins and shutouts (min. 65 GP). Holtby made his second consecutive NHL All-Star Game appearance this season, becoming the second goaltender in franchise history to be selected to two All-Star Games (Kolzig: 1997-98, 1999-00). Since 2012-13, Holtby leads the NHL in wins (175) and shutouts (28).
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