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Posted at 1:38 PM ET, 01/16/2011

Michal Neuvirth likely to start against Ottawa

By Katie Carrera

Coach Bruce Boudreau didn't reveal his starting goaltender during his pregame comments, but it appears as though Michal Neuvirth will be in net this afternoon to take on the Senators. Neuvirth made 24 saves on Dec. 19 when the Capitals defeated Ottawa, 3-2, to snap their eight-game losing streak.

Neuvirth is one of the numerous rookies and other young players on whom the Capitals have depended greatly this season, and Boudreau isn't surprised that they're all doing well.

"We've got [six] rookies in the lineup and they're playing well and they deserve to be there," Boudreau said. "They're good players, they just haven't had a chance to make our team. Now with injuries and situations that they are, they're getting that chance. When they get the chance, the one thing I always learned as a player, you've got to take advantage of it. Sometimes the door or the window isn't open that long."

--Andrew Gordon, whom Boudreau said "deserved to be recalled", will be in the lineup for the matinee tilt against the Senators, though where precisely won't be known until after warmup.

--Against Vancouver on Friday, Boudreau put Jeff Schultz back next to Mike Green on a defensive pairing. In the seven games since he returned from a fractured thumb, Schultz played primarily on the right side with either Tom Poti or John Erskine while Green developed chemistry with Scott Hannan.

"It was time. They played together last year they were both plus-50 and I don't think you lose your spot just because you get hurt," Boudreau said of putting Schultz and Green back together. "We wanted him to get better and again get some games under his belt before we took him and he doesn't play the right side anywhere near as well as he plays the left side. It was an easy switch."

--ESPN's Pierre Lebrun reports that the Caps are among the six teams pegged to start next season overseas -- perhaps in Moscow -- though as we reported earlier, all talk is in the preliminary stages.

By Katie Carrera  | January 16, 2011; 1:38 PM ET
Categories:  Bruce Boudreau, Ottawa Senators  
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Next: Open thread: Capitals vs. Senators

Comments

"It was time. They played together last year they were both plus-50 and I don't think you lose your spot just because you get hurt," Boudreau said of putting Schultz and Green back together
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LOL yeah and they were great together against Tampa last week on that two on NONE breakway... way to go Bruce, you really know how to reward players for stinking up!!!

Posted by: joek443 | January 16, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I like Varly better but, Neuvirth has to play. This is the problem with two 22 year old goalies.
Schultz has really been rotten when not skating with Green. I agree with putting them back together. These two are well on the way to becoming the 2nd pair behind Carlson/Alzner anyway. Hannan/Erskine is a much better pairing than Schultz/Erskine.
I sure wouldn't cry if Poti was done for the year.
Backstrom's offensive numbers are down this year but, he still plays good defense & is good on face offs. How much of Backstrom's decline are due to Ovie's decline?

Posted by: chriscaps | January 16, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Katie, ask the coach why he keeps playing his softie favorites (ie. Chimera, Gordon, Steckel) over guys like DJK? I know guys, Steckel had a nice hit on Fehr. Too bad he doesn't hit the opposition like that. Boyd Gordon, hadn't played in forever and then doesn't have to work his way back into the lineup - the guy gets a free pass. Erskine is playing the best hockey of his career and has to sit when Poti returns. Then Erskine looks rusty in his next couple games. Chimera had an edge to his game when he first came over last year and he's just as soft now as the rest. If Laich didn't talk after every game, I wouldn't even know he had even played in the game. Ovechkin needs to go back to playing old game and not worrying about injuring someone. Backstrom? I'm thinking he must be hurt. Caps just aren't that good and if they don't make some changes, WILL NOT make playoffs. Besides, we won't win the cup with an AHL coach anyway. Ted and George are too proud to admit they don't have a clue.

Posted by: StanleyCap | January 16, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

@Stanley ...you mean that NHLcoach with a record of166-70-35?

Posted by: boomer44 | January 16, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

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