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Holtby eager to help Capitals realize lofty expectations

NHL.com @NHLdotcom

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is set to pick up where he left off last season when training camp begins later this month.

Holtby, who established NHL career bests in wins (41), goals-against average (2.22), shutouts (nine), save percentage (.923) and games played (73) in 2014-15, returned to Washington from summer break on Tuesday.

"Every year is obviously tough," Holtby told Monumental Network. "It's one thing to look at yourself on paper, but when you actually do it it's completely different and we learned a lot last year and came a long ways as a team."

The Capitals were eliminated by the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Second Round, losing 2-1 in overtime in Game 7 at Madison Square Garden.

"We know there's a lot more to be uncovered with what this group can do, so we're coming into it with the same mindset as last year but with more experience and more expectations," Holtby said. "It'll be a fun ride and one we're looking forward to."

Holtby was 6-7 with one shutout in 13 games during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, ranking first in the NHL in GAA (1.77) and save percentage (.944).

Holtby, who signed a five-year, $30.5 million contract on July 24, is 101-51-18 with a 2.44 GAA, .921 save percentage and 20 shutouts in 178 games with the Capitals.

"When you look at goaltending over the years, it seems like there are a few guys that stay [at the top] and a few that go up and down, and you want to be one that stays at the top," Holtby said. "That's a challenge in itself and one that I'm really looking forward to in my career. I'll keep improving and challenging myself and see how far we can go. Usually if the team is doing well, that makes individual things look better."

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