PITTSBURGH — With each game in the early season, Stars goaltender Braden Holtby has continued to build trust and rack up saves.
The latest example was during Tuesday night’s 2-1 shootout win in Pittsburgh, when Holtby made 27 saves on 28 Penguins shots to earn his first win as a Star. He stopped all five shots he faced in overtime. He stoned Jake Guentzel and Kris Letang during the shootout.
“He’s been very calm,” Stars coach Rick Bowness said. “He’s been rock solid back there. You feel very confident with him in the net. He handles the puck really well. He moves it quickly, moves it to the right areas and he moves it quickly. He’s very poised in the net, gives you a lot of confidence when you look back and see him in the net. It’s a good feeling.”
For the Stars, that feeling started during training camp.
The team liked the professionalism and performance the 32-year-old brought to practice. He was sharp in his first two preseason games, allowing two goals in five periods of play. Because of his preseason play, Holtby earned the No. 1 job in Dallas, despite his past two seasons of subpar play in Washington and Vancouver.
Then he dazzled in New York before leaving with dehydration. He kept the Stars in the game early in Boston. Then, in Pittsburgh, he weathered a second-period surge and shut the Penguins down late.