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Michal Neuvirth to start against Senators

Goaltender Michal Neuvirth is slated to start his third game in four days for the Capitals tonight against the Ottawa Senators, and Coach Bruce Boudreau there wasn't any hesitation to give the 22-year-old a heavy workload early.

Although he might have entered training camp as a slightly lesser-known quantity on the NHL level than Semyon Varlamov, who took part in the full skate and stayed out for extra work this morning, Neuvirth has played quite well for the Capitals early. Through two games he has a .903 save percentage, stopping 58 of the 64 shots he's faced.

"We knew he could handle it," Boudreau said. "He played a lot of games in Hershey and he went back-to-back-to-back in the playoffs last year and played every playoff game...I've been saying it all along; he's a good goaltender."

Based on this morning's skate it looks like David Steckel and D.J. King will be the healthy scratches, but it's unclear who the odd man out on defense will be. Mike Green took part in only 10 minutes of practice but Boudreau said that was because of a problem with his skates.

King is the only forward who hasn't appeared in a game yet, but Boudreau said his decision to stick with the lineup that played Saturday against New Jersey against the Senators was easy -- that group won.

"I think the team that wins 7-2 and sticks together like they did deserves to get a chance to play together the next night," Boudreau said. "You get rewarded for winning and you don't get rewarded for losing. It's a pretty simple decision."

By Katie Carrera  | October 11, 2010; 11:25 AM ET
Categories:  Michal Neuvirth, Mike Green, Ottawa Senators  
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Comments

I kinda feel bad for King! Let the poor guy have a game.

Posted by: capscoach | October 11, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Good on Neuvirth...

would like to see DJ in a game but can't argue with winning 7-2 and not changing things, especially against an East favorite.

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 11, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

King must of been foaming at the mouth watching the Devils game...Maybe he can sit right next to the visitors glass and stare at the bench all game long.

Posted by: SA-Town | October 11, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

At least do an interview with King and ask him about the Verizon Center food or something.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Yes DJ King is a "heavyweight", but he brings little else to the table. Hendricks brings the whole package, thats why he will be in the lineup probably 70% of the time.

Posted by: ThePat | October 11, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"must've" not "must of"...

I see that a lot. You don't want to make that mistake when it matters.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

...can't argue with winning 7-2 and not changing things, especially against an East favorite.

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 11, 2010 11:34 AM

I didn't pay attention to what the Sens did this offseason. Are they considered a favorite in the East? Not like pre-season predictions mean much anyway.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know why they switched up the A's?

Backie and Chimera (Can we please start calling him Chimmichonga?) had the A's for the first game but then they went back to Poti and Knuble.

Why?

Posted by: sshores1 | October 11, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

sshores1-

They have a different set of A's for home and away games this year.

Posted by: Brute | October 11, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Brute

Posted by: sshores1 | October 11, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I didn't pay attention to what the Sens did this offseason.
----------

That's because few in the media understand the importance of having a guy like Gonchar in the lineup - even at 37 he remains the premier PP QB guy in the league, and one of the best to ever run a PP from the back end. Even at even-strength, it is hard to underestimate the importance of having a true puck-mover, who makes the perfect, pinpoint pass almost every time - and on the guy''s stick, not where the forwards are fishing for it out of their skates or just hammering it off the wall.

That and they kept Spezza - with those two and presumably Kovalev [not to mention Karlsson], that is potentially one of the best and most creative PPs in the league.

Posted by: govtimbo | October 11, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I think Backstrom and Chimera are "A" for road games and Poti and Knuble for home games.

I don't know why Laich was passed over. Backstrom makes no sense since he is always out there with Ovechkin who is C anyway. Laich would give you an alternate (A's and C's can speak to refs) when the second line is on the ice. And Chimera has only been around for half a season.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | October 11, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Makes no sense why King isn't dressed. The Sens are a tough team with Carkner, Neil and sh*t disturber and known cheap shot artist Rutuu. It's only 3 games, but what's the point of having him here if he isn't playing. He has to be a little annoyed at this point.

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 11, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

At the latest, King's debut will be Saturday night, our games with Nashville are usually of the scrappy kind almost like a Fight Night at the Honkytonk sort of feel.

Posted by: BBDwrestling | October 11, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

At the latest, King's debut will be Saturday night, our games with Nashville are usually of the scrappy kind almost like a Fight Night at the Honkytonk sort of feel.

Posted by: BBDwrestling | October 11, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

This is going to be an kind of important game...one crappy game, one good game...can they sustain it for the long haul?

I was very impressed with the killer instinct they had in the 3rd period last game. It is somthing that was lacking last season...I am hopeful that this will become a new trend...once we take a 2 goal lead, we lock down and keep it.

I also hope Backie starts to play normal again...he is still amazing, but the first two games he seems rusty and/or uncomfertable. I am not concerned yet, but when he AND ovie are playing at their highest level...well it is just scary good entertainment!

Posted by: capscoach | October 11, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't mean to bag on BB but it seems like he doesn't really 'coach' a whole lot. It's great we won 7-2, but the Sens are a different team than Jersey, and it doesn't seem like he spends any time thinking about the next opponent, or individual Caps performances during the game. It comes down to 'they won, they get to keep playing'.

Why not take out Gordon and let Hendricks play 4C, and put King on the wing.

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 11, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

gotta disagree with fletch...BB has a reputation by the people who know him as being super prepared...Laich defenced him vehemently last week. I have no issue with keeping the lines the same for this game...also arent Ott and NJ similar teams...as far as style.

Posted by: capscoach | October 11, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

capscoach, I'm sure there's so much more to it, and I have no doubt he's prepared as Laich said. I just don't see BB really looking at other teams tendencies.

I'll be honest, I haven't seen Ottawa play yet, but they may be similar to Jersey. I didn't think they were as focused on the smothering neutral zone D, but as a team they have some quality skill players, and from what folks are saying, a better Defence with addition of Gonchar. I guess we'll see tonight.

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 11, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao:

opinions vary! The pros think they'll make the playoffs as a #6 team... Personally, they're (going with the "must've" and "they'll" theme above) likely to be a bubble team IMHO.

They need bounce back years from Spezza and others as top 6 or so teams in the East are a bit better this year than last...

I predict #7-9 for them!

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 11, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

@fletch

just a difference of opinion...I will admit that although I am usually defined as one of the "koolaid" drinkers on this site, I do think BB was outcoached against Montreal in the playoffs. I just think BB gets a lot of undeserved grief by some of the posters on here. We are all of course entitled to different opinions.

Posted by: capscoach | October 11, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

@tmac2yao

On the Sens. A lot of writers are thinking that they played over their heads last year and will not do as well this year. The Sens are off to a poor start this year. The Caps got into "fire wagon" hockey games with them last year and kept coming out on the short end. (I would have been nervous about the Caps getting into a playoff series against them, frankly, since their track record against them was so poor.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach

I didn't think that Ottawa and NJ had a similar style. But they both had one thing in common -- the Caps had trouble beating them both last year. The NJ games would tend to be lower scoring although twice last year, the Caps had gotten a 2-0 lead only to blow it. The Ottawa games seemed to be higher scoring.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan75

I was not happy about the Montreal matchup from the get go either...we struggled against them in the regular season as well...I was hoping for Philly in the 1st round.

Posted by: capscoach | October 11, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan75

I did realize u were talking about an Ottowa matchup...I realize my last post was phrased badly...I meant that I would not have been pleased with an Ottowa OR Montreal matchup.

Posted by: capscoach | October 11, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Per nhl.com

Atlanta Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec is out of the hospital, after it was determined a fainting spell caused him to collapse on the ice during the early stages of Friday's season opener against the Washington Capitals and led to a concussion, the team said in a statement released Tuesday.

they still don't know why he collapsed...kinds scary considering he was unconcious for over 30min. That is a long time to faint.

Posted by: capscoach | October 11, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

BB is not a good coach, he never should have gotten the Jack Adams award...because how do you lose with this team? He has lost, has been outcoached several times. He continues to put Flash and Gordon in the line-up...why? Flash is ok during the regular season but he will fall apart again in the playoff's and Gordon...did he even play on Saturday and besides he's due for an injury. 4th line should be Hendricks centering Bradley and King. This guy is like Lindsey Lohan...he's over exposed, next we'll be seeing him on TMZ and Acces Hollywood! I have had enough it is time for a real coach that can win at this level! nobody cares about the regular season!!!!!

Posted by: PhilHelmuth | October 11, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

BB is not a good coach, he never should have gotten the Jack Adams award...because how do you lose with this team? He has lost, has been outcoached several times. He continues to put Flash and Gordon in the line-up...why? Flash is ok during the regular season but he will fall apart again in the playoff's and Gordon...did he even play on Saturday and besides he's due for an injury. 4th line should be Hendricks centering Bradley and King. This guy is like Lindsey Lohan...he's over exposed, next we'll be seeing him on TMZ and Acces Hollywood! I have had enough it is time for a real coach that can win at this level! nobody cares about the regular season!!!!!

Posted by: PhilHelmuth | October 11, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Boudreau had something like five first round outs in a row in the AHL before he was fired from LA's affiliate. The last season, the team was second overall before getting whacked in the first round.

I think Boudreau's a good coach and he certainly generates loyalty from most of his players. He's also built an exciting system that puts fans in the building. He's just so...uh, "confident" in his system he doesn't make changes unless the team's in deep trouble. His system allows for huge opportunities for an opponent, and at the NHL level, playoff teams are just too good to allow those chances to repeatedly happen.

Posted by: pga6 | October 11, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"Yes DJ King is a "heavyweight", but he brings little else to the table. Hendricks brings the whole package, thats why he will be in the lineup probably 70% of the time."

This is a high scoring team and when the score gets out of hand so does the temperament of the losers. King should be in the line up every night, for instances like we saw Saturday. The Caps have plenty of firepower and unlike the 'goons' of old DJ can contribute with his gloves on.

Posted by: FLDave | October 11, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

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