Capitals

Jaroslav Halák to Make First Start in Net for Capitals

by Chris Lingebach
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Slovakia's goalkeeper Jaroslav Halak reacts after a goal during the Men's Ice Hockey Group A match Slovakia vs Slovenia at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 15, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Slovakia’s goalkeeper Jaroslav Halak reacts after a goal during the Men’s Ice Hockey Group A match Slovakia vs Slovenia at the Bolshoy Ice Dome during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 15, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Jaroslav Halák will make his first start in net for the Capitals against the Coyotes on Saturday.

Braden Holtby had been the Caps’ netminder the last seven games, but after giving up two goals in Washington’s 3-0 loss to Boston on Thursday, and 4 in their 6-4 loss to Philly the day before, Adam Oates has elected to go with the fresh face.

Exhaustion was likely the reason for the switch not happening sooner.

Between arriving stateside after the Olympics, as Caps radio play-by-play announcer John Walton noted, and being traded to Buffalo from St. Louis on Feb. 28 — only to be dealt again just five days later — Halák has had a tiresome two weeks of travel.

 

Halák arrived in Washington (along with a 2015 3rd-round draft pick) on Wednesday, by way of Buffalo, to whom the Caps gave Michal Neuvirth and Rostislav Klesla. He has a .917 save percentage, giving up 83 goals on 1002 shot attempts through 40 games (24-9) in 2013-14.

An interesting footnote to tonight’s matchup: As Halák makes his first start for Washington, he’ll be staring down former Capital Martin Erat, who was traded to Phoenix earlier in the week. Wouldn’t that make for a captivating breakaway?

Related: Timeline of Caps’ Deadline Deals

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