Capitals goalie Braden Holtby said on Tuesday that the team is looking to get into the playoffs after last season, even though it didn’t do it.
The Capitals are playing their seventh game of the season against the New Jersey Devils.
Hitting the ice Tuesday was Holtby’s first action of the year since March 31, when he underwent surgery to repair a blood clot in his left knee.
The team’s three playoff games were the final two of a seven-game trip, including a four-game home stand against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
But Holtby, who was expected to miss the first two games of the series, said the team would not be giving up on the playoffs, even if they lost in the first round.
“We want the opportunity to play in the playoffs,” Holtby told the team’s official website.
“We just want to continue to play our game, play in front of our fans, do our job and hopefully we’ll get back into the postseason.”
The Capitals played the first three games in New Jersey without Holtby because of a right knee injury that forced him to miss most of the playoffs.
They won Game 3 of the first-round series and won Game 4 to earn a berth in the second round.
The NHL announced Tuesday that Holtby would not have surgery and will be able to play Thursday in New York against the Rangers.