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“I think he’s been playing great for us regardless of what the goals against have been in the games,” Alzner said. “I think he’s been playing well.”

In last year’s playoffs, the Caps committed to blocking as many shots as they could get their bodies in front of and tried to limit quality chances at every turn.

“Everyone knows that makes a goalie’s life easy. That’s no secret,” Holtby said with a laugh. “That’s what we’re trying to accomplish here, and it’s a steady progress right now.”

The Caps’ defense has been something of a mess even during the three-game winning streak, allowing more open looks for opponents than Alzner and his teammates would prefer. Some goals have come off odd-man rushes and some from scrambles in front.

“If we can clean that up, [Holtby is] going to have two less goals against every game,” Alzner said. “I think we’re trying to do that; we’re trying to block a little bit more. It doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet, but I know we have been blocking a little bit more. It’s mainly him.”