With both of Washington’s main goalies, Vokoun (groin) and Neuvirth (leg) injured indefinitely, third string Braden Holtby was given the nod in game one of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The rookie goaltender had just 21 games under his belt over two seasons of NHL time and had never played in an NHL playoff game. He started out well, getting adjusted to the tempo but by the second period he stole the show. Bruins out-shot the Caps 17 to 2 in the middle frame but Holtby made save after save to keep the game scoreless.
Tim Thomas was also perfect through two periods but he had only faced 7 shots total at that point. He began getting a bit more work in the third period but still stopped everything that came his way, as did Holtby. The goalies were the stars in this one and through 60 minutes nobody from either team could score.
Overtime was needed but it didn’t last long. Just over a minute in to the extra period, Chris Kelly broke into the Caps zone and fired a perfect shot far side, right past the Caps’ net minder. It was the only one to get by Holtby but it was enough to give Bruins a 1-0 lead in the series. Holtby ended the night with 29 saves, Thomas with 17 saves and the shutout.
Game 2 of the series is Saturday afternoon at 3pm.