Round One – Metropolitan #1 Capitals vs. Wild Card #1 Hurricanes: Between The Pipes

As Game 1 of the First Round series between the Washington Capitals and the Carolina Hurricanes is approaching on Thursday night at Capital One Arena (7:30 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington locally or USA Network for those outside the DMV), NoVa Caps is preparing a series of “deep dives” on key elements of the matchup.  We continue our “deep dives” into the first round matchup with a closer look at the Capitals and Hurricanes goaltending.

2018-19 Season

Hurricanes starting goaltender Petr Mrazek went 23-14-3 with a save percentage of .914, a goals-against average of 2.29, and four shutouts this season.

Hurricanes backup Curtis McElhinney went 20-11-2 with a save percentage of .912, a goals-against average of 2.58, and two shutouts in the regular season.

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby went 32-19-5 with a save percentage of .911, a goals-against average of 2.82, and three shutouts in the regular season.

Capitals backup Pheonix Copley went 16-7-3 with a save percentage of .905, a goals-against average of 2.90, and one shutout in the regular season.

Career Head-to-Head

In his career against Carolina, Holtby is 16-6-0 with a save percentage of .937, a goals-against average of 1.98, and two shutouts. Copley has never appeared in a game against the Hurricanes.

Lifetime against the Capitals, Mrazek is 3-5-2 with a save percentage of .917, a goals-against average of 2.52, and one shutout. McElhinney has posted a record of 1-5-0 with a save percentage of .866 and a goals-against average of 3.67 in his career against the Capitals.

Postseason Career

Mrazek is 4-6 with a save percentage of .927, a goals-against average of 1.98, and three shutouts in 11 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, while McElhinney is 0-1 with a save percentage of .848 and a goals-against average of 3.70 in two career postseason appearances.

Holtby is 45-37 with a save percentage of .929, a goals-against average of 2.04, and six shutouts in 82 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, while Copley has never made an appaearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Head-to-Head This Season

While playing in all four games (and victories) against the Hurricanes this season, Holtby posted a save percentage of .918 and a goals-against average of 2.21. Three of the eight goals that he allowed vs. the Hurricanes this season came while Carolina was on the power-play, while Holtby gave up one short-handed goal.

In two games against the Capitals this season, Mrazek (0-2-0) posted a save percentage of .915 and a goals-against average of 2.56. Four of the five goals allowed in those games came at even-strength while the other came on a Capitals power-play. Of the 25 goals Mrazek has allowed in his career against the Capitals, 18 have come at even strength and one came shorthanded.

McElhinney posted 17 saves on 20 shots (with all three goals coming at even-strength) in his lone appearance against the Capitals during the regular season.

Netminder Scott Darling, currently with the AHL Checkers, also posted a loss against the Capitals this season but is not expected to make a post-season appearance.

Deeper Dive (Per Natural Stattrick and Money Puck)

When facing scoring chances, the Capitals’ goalies posted a save percentage of .8655 (21st in the NHL), while the Hurricanes were not much better at .8659 (18th).

The two teams were similar in high-danger save percentage, with the Capitals 14th in the league in that category (.8294) and the Hurricanes right behind them at 15th (.8282). In team save percentage, the Capitals ranked 13th (.9208) and the Hurricanes were 14th (.9207).

Holtby recorded a save percentage of .9526% on unblocked shots and a save percentage .337 higher than his expected save percentage. He has given up a rebound after a save 5.34% of the time — 13.44% more rebounds than expected. Copley posted a save percentage of .9483% on unblocked shots and a save percentage .265 below his expected save percentage. He has given up a rebound after a save 4.72% of the time — 0.86% more rebounds than expected.

Mrazek posted a save percentage of .9536% on unblocked shots and a save percentage .144 higher than his expected save percentage. He has given up a rebound after a save 3.43% — 36.3% more rebounds than expected. McElhinney a save percentage of .9527% on unblocked shots and a save percentage .532 above than his expected save percentage. He has given up a rebound after a save 5.02% of the time — 1.163% more rebounds than expected.

More Round 1 Coverage

Hurricanes vs. Capitals: Special Teams Matchup
Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes – First Round Preview
Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes – Preliminary Analytics Review
First Round Schedule

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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1 Response to Round One – Metropolitan #1 Capitals vs. Wild Card #1 Hurricanes: Between The Pipes

  1. Pingback: Carolina Hurricane Transitions — Unexpected Events of 2018-19 NHL Season | NoVa Caps

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