Holtby prac­tices after hit to eye

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE NHL - By Is­abelle Khur­shudyan

WASH­ING­TON — Wash­ing­ton Capi­tals goal­tender Braden Holtby prac­ticed fully Sun­day morn­ing, ap­par­ently no worse for wear after Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets for­ward Cam Atkin­son in­ad­ver­tently wedged his stick through a hole in Holtby’s mask, in­jur­ing his left eye in the sec­ond pe­riod of Satur­day night’s 2-1 over­time loss.

Holtby didn’t re­turn to the game, and it’s un­clear whether he’ll start against the St. Louis Blues tonight, the first game of a back-to-back set, but coach Todd Reirden said the team doesn’t in­tend to re­call an­other goalie, in­di­cat­ing Holtby is at least healthy enough to dress. Wash­ing­ton could choose to start Pheonix Cop­ley against the Blues and then have Holtby in net against the Nashville Preda­tors on Tues­day.

“Ob­vi­ously any­thing with your eyes is a lit­tle scary,” Holtby said. “It’s for­tu­nate that it wasn’t any­thing too se­ri­ous. You just move on. ... I didn’t have the sight to keep go­ing. I just wouldn’t have been a ben­e­fit to the team. it was one of those things. Eyes heal quickly, so just 24 hours and I’ll be back to nor­mal.”

Holtby, who has had Lasik surgery on his eyes in the past, in­ti­mated that his vi­sion isn’t quite 100 per­cent yet, but “it’s pro­gress­ing the right way, ob­vi­ously,” he said.

Said Reirden: “It’s some­thing you’ve got to be ex­tremely care­ful with and cau­tious. He’s had some other work done on his eyes in the past, so it was a se­ri­ous sit­u­a­tion for us at the time that we needed to make sure we han­dled prop­erly and went through all the proper steps to make sure there was no fur­ther is­sues. ... We’re go­ing to see how it is to­mor­row still. Just with the sweat and all that, it’s go­ing to get re-eval­u­ated.”

Third-line cen­ter Lars Eller missed prac­tice for what the team said was a main­te­nance day for an undis­closed “up­per-body” in­jury. Reirden said Eller is “day to day” and “get­ting ready for a back-to-back here.”

De­fense­man Chris­tian Djoos, who’s missed the past 14 games after left thigh surgery last month, skated for the first time be­fore Sun­day’s prac­tice, but gen­eral man­ager Brian MacLel­lan pre­vi­ously in­di­cated that it’ll be an­other two weeks be­fore the Capi­tals have some clar­ity on his time­line to re­turn. TV: Ra­dio:


Capi­tals goal­tender Braden Holtby leans over after tak­ing a stick to the eye dur­ing an over­time loss Satur­day night.

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