- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 14, 2018

Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz told reporters after Saturday’s practice that he will stick with Philipp Grubauer as his starting goaltender for Game 2 of their first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Grubauer made 23 saves but allowed four goals in the Capitals‘ overtime loss to the Jackets in Game 1 on Thursday. But two goals came on Columbus power plays in the third period, which forced the extra period, and leading goal-scorer Artemi Panarin netted the Jackets’ game-winner six minutes into overtime.

After Thursday’s loss, Trotz said he would “we’ll reevaluate all the goals, we’ll reevaluate our team and where we’re at” before deciding if Grubauer would remain the starter.

“I thought he was fine. There was nothing in that game that [would make] you say why you’d make a change,” Trotz said Saturday. “Philipp’s been really good. I thought in that game, you know, we had the game. We kept letting them off the floor a little bit.”

Trotz recounted the end of Game 1 — three penalties in the third period that led to two Blue Jacket goals, a “special play by Panarin” to win the game —perhaps illustrating that he did not assign much blame to Grubauer for allowing goals.

“I have a lot of confidence in him, and we’ll be ready,” Trotz said.

When talking to reporters after practice, Grubauer indicated he had not yet been told whether he would start Game 2.

“I just work in practice and if he comes up to us and says ‘Hey, you’re starting’ or ‘You’re not starting, Holts is starting,’ I’m not guessing or planning my day around it,” Grubauer said.”

The Capitals and Blue Jackets play Game 2 Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena before the series shifts to Columbus on Tuesday and Thursday.

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