Who's the Caps' No. 1 goalie? Watch who starts Sunday

J.J. Regan
NBC Sports Washington

Here's what we know in terms of the Capital's netminding situation. Philipp Grubauer will start in Thursday's game in Brooklyn against the New York Islanders, according to Barry Trotz. When the two teams come to Washington for the rematch on Friday, Braden Holtby will get the start.

After that, well, that's when things become uncertain.

Braden Holtby has been the Capitals starting goalie for most of the season and really for most of the last six seasons. After struggling in recent weeks, however, Philipp Grubauer has been called upon and is running with his opportunity.

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Since Dec. 1, no goalie in the NHL who has played in at least 15 games has a better save percentage than Grubauer's .945. None. He has started in each of the last three games for the Caps going 2-1-0 with a .950 save percentage and one shutout.

But if you think that means Grubauer has cemented himself as the No. 1, not so fast.

Following the back-to-back against the Islanders, Washington faces a huge game against the Philadelphia Flyers who currently sits just four points behind the Caps for first place in the Metropolitan Division and is a team Washington could face in the first round of the playoffs should Pittsburgh end up winning the division.

In a big game like that, you would expect the No. 1 goalie to start. Right now, Trotz is not sure who that is.

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When asked if he had an idea for who he wanted to start in Sunday's game, Trotz answered no.

"We're in a result business and we need some results so we'll see who is looking the sharpest and gives us the best chance to win."

With both goalies set to play on Thursday and Friday, it's not a stretch to believe both will be competing for the top spot on the depth chart.

There will still be 10 games left in the regular season after Sunday's game in Philadelphia. A lot can change between Sunday and those 10 games, but whoever starts that game against the Flyers will be a good indication of who Trotz has penciled in as the top netminder. At least for now.

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