All-Star goaltender Braden Holtby will be back in net Friday, according to multiple reports, as the Capitals face the Islanders under former Washington coach Barry Trotz with first place potentially at stake.
Holtby, who took a high stick in the left eye in Saturday’s game against the Blue Jackets, missed Tuesday’s scheduled start against the Predators because of the injury after also sitting out Monday’s game as a scheduled day off.
Holtby said the eye is “back to normal,” according to The Washington Post.
Holtby said he’s 100 percent and he’s going to play tonight.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) January 18, 2019
“It’s been a little bit of touch and go,” Caps coach Todd Reirden said. “Just definitely happy. Any time you can get your No. 1 goalie in there, that’s great for us. Real happy to have him in there tonight for us.”
Holtby, named this month to his fourth consecutive All-Star Game, is 17-10-2 (.912 save percentage, 2.85 goals-against average) in 31 games this season.
“Once the initial tests were done and they said there was no damage that’s going to be long-term, it was just a matter of healing, getting that vision back and it’s good now,” he said.
The game marks Trotz’s first back in D.C. since his departure after leading the Caps to their first Stanley Cup last season.
The Capitals (27-14-5) enter Friday’s 7:30 p.m. ET game tied for first in the Metro with the Blue Jackets (28-15-3) with 59 points, a point ahead of the Islanders (27-15-4).