Adam Oates didn’t have to give a 500-word dissertation on goaltending to say how he felt about the play of his goaltenders Thursday night.
His actions were enough.
Seconds after Michal Neuvirth allowed a leaky goal to Pascal Dupuis 12:49 into the second period – even before the siren had finished sounding and the red light had stopped flashing – Oates ordered Braden Holtby into the game.
“I just thought there were goals that kind of deflated us and looking at them on the tape, I’m sure one of the goals Michal would want back,” Oates said. “That kind of hurt us, we’ve been struggling and I was looking for a change of momentum.”
Neuvirth surrendered two goals on 11 shots and has now allowed two back-breaking, momentum-changing goals in his last two starts. In seven appearances this season, Neuvirth is 1-4-1 with a 3.05 GAA and .889 save percentage.
And he’s the better of the Caps’ two goalies.
Braden Holtby surrendered three goals on 17 shots and is now 1-4-0 with a 4.74 GAA and .857 save percentage.
Through 11 games, the Capitals have allowed three or more goals nine times and are 0-8-1 in those games.
“It’s tough,” Neuvirth said. “I was mad at myself I got pulled. I felt bad for Holtsy. He gave up the three goals.”
Like any goalie, Neuvirth said he wanted to stay in the game after allowing the goal that gave the Pens a 2-1 lead.
“Of course as a goalie you want to finish the game,” he said. “Obviously it’s frustrating but I have to deal with it and work hard. [Oates]cjust said to hang in there to make me feel better.”
Leaky goaltending killing Capitals
CSN Washington | Feb 8