Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby will be Los Angeles-bound later this month after being tapped Tuesday to represent the Metropolitan Division at the NHL All-Star game.
The game is January 29th at Staples Center, home of the Kings.
Ovechkin has been named to the game a franchise-record eight times, while Holtby, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, joins Olie Kolzig as the only Capitals’ netminders to be chosen twice.
Once again, the All-Star Game format will be a 3-on-3 tournament. Each of the divisional teams will square off in a 20-minute semifinal. The winners will then play for the championship.
Ovechkin has five goals and six assists in the five all-star games in which he’s played. (The Caps’ captain did not play in the 2011-12 game and missed last year’s game with an injury). Holtby, meantime, made eight saves on 10 shots in his first All-Star Game appearance.
A year ago, fans voted Ovechkin to serve as the Metro Division captain. That honor this year belongs to Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who leads the league with 26 goals.
The all-star accolades arrive as Ovechkin and Holtby are hitting their stride for the Caps, who have won six in a row and are 13-2-3 in their last 18 games.
On Monday in Montreal, Ovechkin tied Canadiens’ legend Maurice “Rocket” Richard for 29th on the all-time goals list with No. 544. The 31-year-old also moved to within a point of 1,000 for his career. He’ll get the chance to reach that milestone Wednesday when Washington hosts Pittsburgh on national television.
Whenever Ovechkin gets there, he’ll become the 84 player in NHL history to reach the plateau and the fourth Russian-born player to do so, joining Sergei Fedorov, Alexander Mogilny and Alexei Kovalev.
Holtby is tied for the league lead in shutouts (5). The 27-year-old also ranks second in goals against average (1.90) and third in save percentage (.931).
In addition, Greg Smith, Washington’s longtime athletic trainer has been selected as the Eastern Conference’s head trainer. Smith is in his 17th season with the Capitals.
CSN is sending a crew to Los Angeles to cover Ovechkin, Holtby and the rest of the all-star festivities. So keep an eye out for our Caps-specific coverage later this month.
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