- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The NHL announced that Washington Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin and goaltender Braden Holtby have been selected to participate in the 2017 NHL All-Star Game.

This will be the franchise-record eighth selection for Ovechkin and the second selection for Holtby.

Ovechkin has recorded 19 goals in 40 games this season, ranking sixth in the NHL. The 31-year-old has added another 14 assists. Ovechkin also ranks second in both shots taken (156) and game-winning goals (six) this season.

In five career All-Star appearances (Ovechkin did not participate in his 2011-12 or his 2015-16 selections), Ovechkin has five goals and six assists. 

After a two-point night against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday, Ovechkin sits at 999 career points. Ovechkin is looking to become the 37th player in NHL history to reach the 1,000-point mark and just the fourth Russian-born player to reach the milestone (Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Mogilny and Alexei Kovalev).

Holtby’s selection makes him just the second Capitals goalie to ever receive two All-Star Game nods (Olie Kolzig in 1997-98 and 1999-00). Holtby’s five shutouts are tied for the most in the NHL, his 1.90 goals against average is second and his .931 save percentage is tied for third. Holtby leads all Metropolitan Division goaltenders in shutouts and goals against average, and is tied for first in save percentage.

Since becoming a mainstay NHL goaltender in the 2012-13 season, the 27-year-old leads the league in wins (154) and shutouts (25).

This marks Holtby’s second straight selection. In the tournament’s 3-on-3 format last season in Nashville, Holtby made eight saves on 10 shots.

Additionally, Capitals head athletic trainer Greg Smith was named as the Eastern Conference’s trainer for the All-Star weekend. Smith has worked as the Capitals‘ head athletic trainer since 1999 and has two prior seasons working as a head trainer with the Anaheim Ducks.

The All-Star Game will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Jan. 29. The game will again assume the 3-on-3 tournament, with each division rostering 11 players (six forwards, three defensemen, two goalies).

The captains for each division are Pittsburgh Penguins’ center Sidney Crosby (Metropolitan), Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (Atlantic), Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subbing (Central) and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (Pacific).

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