With two minutes remaining in Game 2, Washington's goaltender sprawled across his net to thwart a 2-on-1 with a slick stick save on Vegas Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch. The save preserved a 3-2 lead for the Capitals, who evened the series Wednesday night.
"To me it was the hockey gods," Trotz said. "They evened it up from last game. Once he made that save, I knew we were going to win the game."
Added star winger Alex Ovechkin: "Thank god he's our goalie."
Holtby, who made 37 saves in the win, wasn't as overwhelmed by the play, which went viral quickly.
"I try to disconnect myself from social media," Holtby said. "We're a group that's trying to win hockey games."
Vegas had just pulled goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. A bouncing puck landed on the stick of the Golden Knights' Cody Eakin. The goaltender committed to Eakin, who fed the puck to Tuch. Tuch, who was in perfect position in front of the open net, one-timed the puck. It seemingly was going in, but a sideways Holtby made the stop.
Players on both teams were left speechless.
"I mean, my heart stopped on the bench," Washington's Andre Burakovsky said. "I mean, the last five minutes I never think I've been this nervous in my life. When he saved that, I was just, I mean, it's unbelievable."
"I've got to bury that," Tuch said.
"It was a strange play because these boards have been really true," Holtby said.
"We've been trying to get it up on the glass at our rims because usually goalies stay in their net," Holtby added. "But Marc-Andre's been coming out a lot to get those because they've been so true and one bounces weird at that time of the game. [Eakin] makes a great play to pass it over and I was just trying to get something there, trying to seal where I thought that someone would shoot that. And luckily it hit me."
Washington forward Jay Beagle, who was backchecking, called the play "huge."
"I'm three feet too late," Beagle said. "You see that kind of develop in your mind, you're thinking there's no way that bounces to them across the crease and then comes back across. Holts just makes the save of the year. Maybe the save of a lifetime. It's unreal."
The Washington bench was whipped into a frenzy.
"I was dog-tired on the bench when it happened, so I wasn't even really able to yell," winger T.J. Oshie said. "I slapped my stick as hard as I could."
In the Washington locker room, Ovechkin struggled to find words.
"I don't know how to say it," Ovechkin said. "It's ... incredible. He made the save. He didn't stop. He didn't quit on the play."
Game 3 is Saturday in Washington.