Grubauer, 22, appeared in 16 NHL games and started 14 of the Capitals past 20, going 6-4-5 with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. However, he was pulled from losses Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Sunday against the New York Rangers after allowing a combined six goals on 22 shots.
Grubauer earned his first win on Dec. 8 against the Rangers and ranks third among rookie goaltenders in saves (424) and save percentage.
It was a big dream. [Messi] is probably the best athlete out there, so it's a big honor, for [Kuznetzov] as well. It's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the best player in soccer right now. I'm a big Barcelona fan and Messi fan, so it's huge. You can take [Michael] Jordan, [Mark] Messier, [Wayne] Gretzky, those kinds of [people]. It's an honor to meet. It's nice to be in that position.
— Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin told told Monumental Network after meeting soccer star Lionel Messi prior to Argentina's practice at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. on Friday