- The Washington Times - Friday, April 8, 2016

With Barry Trotz saying on Thursday that Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer will split each of the Washington Capitals‘ two final regular-season games, it appears that Holtby’s attempt to break Martin Brodeur’s record for wins by a goaltender in one season will end.

Holtby has won 47 games, tying him with Bernie Parent and Roberto Luongo for the second-most victories in the NHL in a single season. That leaves him one shy of the mark set in 2006-07 by Brodeur, who did so with the New Jersey Devils.

The Capitals helped Holtby pick up his 47th victory on April 1, when they defeated the Colorado Avalanche in a game in which the goaltender made just 19 saves. They have since lost their last three games, falling to the Arizona Coyotes on April 2, the New York Islanders on Tuesday and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

He could still conceivably tie Brodeur’s mark — and potentially on Saturday, when the Capitals visit the St. Louis Blues. Brodeur is now an assistant general manager with the Blues, and Holtby’s ability to tie the record could be similar to when Brodeur claimed it with Parent in attendance.

Although there’s a chance Holtby could actually play in both games, the Capitals have only had him play on consecutive nights in three of their 13 back-to-back sets thus far. Even then, each required shorter trips — to Toronto, from Buffalo and from New Jersey.

Holtby all but acknowledged on Friday the attempt was over. Trotz said later in the day he did not know which goaltender would play in which game.

“I mean, we did everything we could in order to try,” Holtby said. “I mean, we had three overtime/shootout losses in the last little bit here to give [us] a chance.”

Brodeur set his mark while playing 78 games, and Parent did so having played in 73 games with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1973-74. Holtby’s next game will be his 66th.

Teammates have said that they believe the only reason Holtby had any inclination toward setting the record was because it reflected on the entire team. The Capitals have won the Presidents’ Trophy for the best regular-season record in the league and Holtby, in the top 10 in goals-against average and save percentage, is also a Vezina Trophy candidate.

“You know, it’s still pretty cool to just be up there,” Holtby said. “We just ran out of games. We didn’t play enough games. It happens.”

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