Sports psychologist to Holtby: 'Puck doesn't know it's a big game'

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

He wasn't perfect, but he did his part.

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby allowed two goals in Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, as the Capitals came back for a 3-2 overtime victory.

Holtby had a shutout in the works until the 18:07 mark of the final frame, when Penguins center Evgeni Malkin brought his team within one before defenseman Justin Schultz evened the score just 48 seconds later.

Holtby wasn't overly busy on the night, stopping 28 of the 30 pucks that came his way, but it was enough as the Capitals won their first game of the series after dropping the first two contests on home ice.

In Game 2, Holtby was pulled after allowing three goals on just 14 shots. But he stepped up to the challenge in Game 3, in part due to the encouraging words from coach Barry Trotz, who stated his netminder would be the difference-maker in the series.

Holtby also spoke with his sports psychologist after Game 2, who told the netminder, "The puck doesn't know it's a big game."

Holtby and the Capitals now have a chance to even the series Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

Sports psychologist to Holtby: 'Puck doesn't know it's a big game'
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