Former Washington Capitals netminder Braden Holtby felt the love in his return to Capital One Arena for his first game back in D.C. in over two years with the Dallas Stars.
Holtby didn’t get to dress for the Stars due to a lower-body injury, but he was in the building for his homecoming. He received quite the reception, with a long video tribute and a lengthy standing ovation from the fans. His current and former teammates also paid tribute to No. 70 with stick taps from the benches.
After the ovation during a first-period media timeout, “Holtby” chants continued to ring out through the rink as play continued.
The 32-year-old appeared emotional and thrilled watching the tribute and waving to fans, and told Bally Sports Southwest that his return was “special.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty amazing. Pretty special. I think it’s definitely strange being back at a place that you’ve been so many times on the other side,” Holtby said. “This city’s such a good hockey city, it’s amazing. The fans are incredible. They always treated me and my family so well. To get appreciation like that, I wish I could turn it around on them.”
Holts feels all your love, @Capitals fans ♥💙
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) March 20, 2022
The Saskatchewan native’s time with the Capitals spanned over a decade. Through 468 career games over 10 years with the Capitals, Holtby went 282-122-46 with a .916 save percentage and 2.53 GAA. He also ranks first (T-Olaf Kolzig) in shutouts in franchise history with 35. The Saskatchewan native was also instrumental in helping the Capitals clinch their first-ever Stanley Cup back in 2018 and is famous for making “The Save” in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights.