A very rare night for Braden Holtby

Bruce Bennett

Braden Holtby had a pretty rare night on Friday, earning a shutout and a fighting major in the same game.

Braden Holtby had quite the interesting night for the Washington Capitals on Friday.

He stopped all 27 shots he faced to record his first shutout of the season in a 7-0 dismantling of the Flyers, and he also found himself in a fight with Flyers goalie Ray Emery during a third period line brawl. That was the first fight of his career.

The combination of a goalie recording a shutout and being involved in a fight is pretty rare, since goalies are usually ejected when they get involved in fights and don't get credit for a shutout (assuming they hadn't allowed any goals). Not only did Holtby record the shutout on Friday, but he also wasn't ejected for his involvement in the fight, mainly since it was Emery that skated the length of the ice and initiated it.

According to the database at hockey-reference, Friday was just the third time since 1987 that a goalie was credited with a shutout and more than five minutes in penalties. It might be the first time since '87 that a goalie has completed the shutout/fighting major doubleheader.

On Feb. 1, 1995, Chicago's Ed Belfour recorded a shutout in a 7-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers and racked up five penalty minutes, but his incident was not a fight. It was actually for high-sticking Dean McAmmond. The next day's Chicago Tribune described the incident as, "Belfour trying to surgically remove Dean McAmmond's appendix with his goalie's stick. "

Just a couple of years later, on Feb. 4, 1998, Mike Vernon stopped all 21 shots he faced in a 3-0 win over the Oilers and received six penalty minutes for his involvement in a line brawl; however, he was not given a fighting major. (Watch it here).

A couple of other goalies have been close but didn't get a shutout in the books because they were ejected. That's what happened to Pittsburgh's Brent Johnson on Feb. 2, 2011, when he knocked out New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro in the final minute of a 3-0 Penguins. He had stopped 20 shots before earning a game misconduct for his fight. Jean-Sebastien Giguere was less than a minute away from a shutout in 2001 with 12 penalty minutes, but like Johnson was also ejected from his game.

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