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Holtby save draws raves from Capitals after Game 2 win vs. Golden Knights

'Unbelievable' play late in third helps Washington even series

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

LAS VEGAS -- Washington Capitals forward Jay Beagle said it might have been the save of a lifetime.

Washington captain Alex Ovechkin called it unbelievable.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz credited the hockey gods.

 

[RELATED: Capitals respond with Game 2 win in Stanley Cup FinalComplete Golden Knights vs. Capitals series coverage]

 

They were talking about the defining moment of Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Washington goaltender Braden Holtby made a sprawling stick save to his right, denying an open Alex Tuch in the slot with 1:59 remaining in the third period and the Capitals leading by one in their 3-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday.  

Game 3 of the best-of-7 series, which is tied 1-1, is at Washington on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS). 

"There's no way that bounces right to them, across the crease and then comes back, across," said Beagle, who was on the ice during the play, when the puck caromed off the end boards and through the blue paint to the right face-off circle, where Cody Eakin passed in front to Tuch.

"And [Holtby] just makes the save of the year, maybe the save of a lifetime."

Video: WSH@VGK, Gm2: Holtby reaches for unreal stick save

Trotz said, "To me, it was the hockey gods. They evened it up from last game. … We played the right way. The hockey gods always sort of even it out. You know I always talk about that.

"Great save, obviously with 1:59 left. You could see the emotion on our bench. Once he made that save, I knew we were going to win the game."

Sitting on the bench, Ovechkin reacted by covering his face with his gloves in a gesture of disbelief.

What was he thinking?

"Thank God he's our goalie," Ovechkin said. "He's over there when we need him and it was probably the save of the year for sure and after that we can't give up a goal.

"I don't know how to say it. It's incredible. In that moment he made that save, he didn't stop, he didn't quit [on] the play and it's unbelievable. I don't know what to say."

Video: WSH@VGK, Gm2: Holtby on stellar save, Game 2 victory

Tuch called it a great save. Asked whether he'll be thinking about that play until Game 3, he said, "I think we'll get one back. I've got to bury that, though."

Holtby said he knew he had to react to the unusual bounce.

"It was a strange play because these boards have been really true," said Holtby, who made 37 saves. "… And when it bounces weird at that time of the game, [Eakin] makes a great play to pass it over and I was just trying to get something there, trying to seal where I thought someone would shoot that and luckily it hit me."

When it was pointed out to Holtby that the save had created a huge stir on social media, he was not impressed. He may have been the only one.

"I try to disconnect myself from social media," he said. "We're a group trying to win hockey games and whoever has to step up to make plays, we're all there as a team to support each other.

"It's one of those things. It helped us win a game. Now we move forward to the next game because we have a goal in mind that will be a lot bigger than some save on social media."

Video: Discussing Holtby's Game 2 performance in Caps win

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