Holtby hopes to keep streak alive

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Holtby hopes to keep streak alive

NEW YORK -- Braden Holtbys NHL resume is not the most extensive, but it is worth noting he has gone 24 straight NHL starts without losing consecutive games.

I didnt even know how many it is, Holtby said after Mondays morning skate at Madison Square Garden.

Maybe the key is to keep a level head through the highs and lows. Never having two bad games in a row is the key to consistency and I want to have a solid performance.

Holtby allowed three goals on 18 shots in Saturdays series-opening 3-1 loss to the Rangers. One goal came on a wraparound stuffer by Artem Anisimov, another on a gloveside slapper by Chris Kreider and a third on an uncontested 5-hole shot by Brad Richards.

Holtbys loss dropped his post-season record to 4-4 and raised his GAA to 2.13 and his save percentage to .931. His counterpart, Hart Trophy finalist Henrik Lundqvist, is now 5-3 in the playoffs with a 1.61 GAA and .945 save percentage.

Ive said this before, Holtby said. Its the Caps against the Rangers. My job is to control their offensive pushes and out job is to push against Lundqvist.

Schultz ready: Caps defenseman Jeff Schultz said hes ready to jump back into the lineup after getting scratched in favor of John Erskine in Game 1.

With New York having the benefit of the last line change, look for Rangers coach John Tortorella to match his top line of Richards between Carl Hagelin and right wing Marian Gaborik.

A guy like Gaborik is real fast and he kind of likes to sneak behind you and hang out a little higher in the offensive zone than most wingers, Schultz said. Theyre really good at give-and-goes. We need to be in good passing lines and stay in that guy going to the net.

Ratings sweep: NBCs coverage of its first two Conference Semifinal games averaged a 1.7 overnight rating, the best for weekend coverage of the second round in eight years and up six percent over last years coverage. Capitals-Rangers on Saturday and Devils-Flyers on Sunday produced the best overnight average for weekend coverage of the second round since two-game regional coverage on ABC 1.9 on May 1, 2004.
Saturdays Game 1 between the Caps and Rangers received a 1.5 overnight rating. The game received a 3.5 rating in New York and a 5.2 rating in Washington, down slightly from a 5.3 in 2009 for a second-round game against the Penguins.

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Wizards' Otto Porter on his sudden rise: 'I saw this coming a long time ago'

Wizards' Otto Porter on his sudden rise: 'I saw this coming a long time ago'

PHILADELPHIA -- Otto Porter wasn't present when president Ernie Grunfeld spoke to CSNmidatlantic.com about his affinity for his small forward and his intentions to keep him with the Wizards for "a long time," meaning not letting him leave in free agency. 

But when told Friday exactly what was said, the soon-to-be restricted free agent predictably shrugged his shoulders. 

"I'm going to continue to do what I've been doing. Continue to work. Everything works itself out," said Porter, who is shooting an NBA-high 46.5% from three-point range, to CSN.

At one time it was debatable how the 2013 No. 3 pick would be worth on the open market. Not anymore as he has flourished under coach Scott Brooks and has elevated his standing in the league. 

Teams have been interested in Porter like never before at the trade deadline that expired yesterday. But that never was an option for Grunfeld who shed Andrew Nicholson's salary, in part, to put the Wizards in better position to retain him this summer.

"My faith and my belief in continuing to work, anything is possible," Porter said of his rise as one of the league's most improved players. "A lot of people are surprised. To me it's like, 'Hey I saw this coming a long time ago.'"

MORE WIZARDS: NBA Power Rankings: Post trade deadline outlook

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Wizards eager to see Bojan Bogdanovic's debut after 1st practice

Wizards eager to see Bojan Bogdanovic's debut after 1st practice

PHILADELPHIA -- The debut of Bojan Bogdanovic, even though he only has gone through a brief shootaround, is expected to come tonight for the Wizards in their first game post-All-Star break against the Sixers.

"It's just shootaround. I just played with the second unit, just to be ready if they put me in," Bogdanovic said after a 30-minute session Friday morning at Wells Fargo Center.

Coach Scott Brooks said the forward would be active though the other acqusition from Wednesday's trade with the Brooklyn Nets, Chris McCullough, would be inactive though he's with the team.

It was the first time his teammates got a chance to get a feel of  Bogdanovic on the court. He wasn't able to go through a full practice Thursday because all the pieces in the trade hadn't been medically cleared.

"I like his size. I love his body. He can play multiple positions," said Bradley  Beal. "He has a good, natural flow of the game. He was able to pick up the plays pretty well, and the defensive concepts pretty well, too. ... We just want him to be aggressive. He's an aggressive scorer.

"The way we space the floor he'll have the opportunity to knock down some easy ones and be able to create, too. I'm excited. I'm happy for him. I think our bench is solidified now."

If the Wizards can put away the Sixers early, it could mean more minutes for Bogdanovic. Brooks might be able to experiment with different lineups such as three forwards to go with his two star guards in John Wall and Beal.

"We definitely can use him," said Otto Porter, the NBA's top three-point shooter at 46.5%. "This will be another weapon. It's going to be exciting to have him out there with us."

MORE WIZARDS: NBA Power Rankings: Post trade deadline outlook