April 20, 2014

Neuvirth misses practice; Boudreau shuffles lines

Washington Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth missed Wednesday’s practice, calling into question his availability for Thursday’s matchup in Pittsburgh against the Penguins.  According to reports, Neuvirth suffered a minor off-ice injury and the team considers him “day-to-day” with a lower body injury.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said after practice that Neuvirth could still play tomorrow, or the team could recall Braden Holtby to back up Tomas Vokoun for the showdown with the Penguins.

Michal Neuvirth showing off his new red pads during warmups (Photo by Cheryl Nichols)

Neuvirth has been particularly effective against the Penguins in recent memory.  He enjoys an active shutout streak of 1:44.43 against Pittsburgh, pitching two February shutouts against them last season.Caps Director of Media Relations Sergey Kocharov suited up as the second goalie for the morning’s practice, following in the footsteps of former web producer Brett Leonhardt, who once dressed for a game when the Caps were without a backup at the start.  Kocharov has experience in these matter, having served as emergency practice goalie while serving in the Phoenix Coyotes media relations department before joining the Caps.

The other development from the morning’s practice was a shuffling of lines.  Boudreau moved Troy Brouwer to first line right wing and put Mike Knuble on the second line with Marcus Johansson and Alexander Semin.  Mathieu Perreault practiced on the fourth line with Matt Hendricks, Jeff Halpern and Jay Beagle.

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