WASHINGTON -- Goaltender Braden Holtby left the Washington Capitals' game against the New York Rangers late in the second period because of dehydration and did not return to the game.
Holtby left with 2:18 remaining in the second period, 14 seconds after allowing the Rangers' second goal of the game. Holtby skated to the bench and had a long conversation with trainer Greg Smith, then went to the dressing room and was replaced by Philipp Grubauer.
“It’s just dehydration,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said after Washington’s 5-2 win. “I think it’s playing a little bit yesterday, flying, all those things. I don’t think there’s anything other than that. He said that he was having a little trouble getting focused, and he didn’t get hit or anything. “
Holtby made 20 saves on 22 shots before leaving. He was credited with the victory, his League-high 29th of the season. The 26-year-old is 29-5-2 with a .931 save percentage and a 1.99 goals-against-average.
It was the second time in as many days that Holtby was removed from a game. He was replaced by Grubauer 7:14 into the second period on Saturday after allowing three goals on 16 shots in a 4-1 loss at the Buffalo Sabres. It was Holtby's first regulation loss in 23 decisions; he had gone 20-0-2.
“There was no hit or anything. He didn’t get hit, so I was like, ‘What happened?’ But at that point I can’t worry too much,” Grubauer said. “It’s not always nice to see something like that happen. You don’t always know how severe it is or what exactly happened. I hope he’s OK and I think he’s OK.”
On Dec. 27, 2015, the day after the Capitals’ 3-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens, Holtby left practice due to dehydration. But Trotz doesn’t appear worried that his goaltender has a long-term problem.
“I think we’ve got it under control,” Trotz said. “He’ll be good. We’ll get him a day [of rest] here. He played one [total] game in two days, so he should rebound pretty well.”
The Capitals play at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, then have home games against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday and Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.