Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau maintained after today’s morning skate that goalie Michal Neuvirth and forward Jay Beagle were both “day-to-day” with their lingering injuries. Neither participated in the skate in preparation for tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers. Tomas Vokoun will start against his former team, and Dany Sabourin, recalled this morning by the team, will back Vokoun up.
It appears that Matthieu Perreault will be in tonight’s lineup as well, with D.J. King a healthy scratch.
After an aborted attempt at practice Monday, Neuvirth himself revealed the “lower body injury” was indeed to his right foot and that he originally injured the foot during the morning skate before the Caps Oct. 10 game against Tampa Bay. Neuvirth has skated twice since; he spent about an hour on the ice Saturday with goalie coach Dave Prior after the rest of the team took the morning skate and about 20 minutes Monday, when he had to cut short his practice time.
Neuvirth told reporters after practice yesterday that he was simply too sore to continue practicing. “It’s not ready yet,” he said. “It’s going to take some time to get better. [Today] was a little test, but it was too sore to stay on the ice.”
“I feel a lot of pain,” Neuvirth said. “There’s no plan. It’s a big bruise. I’m trying to ice it. But it’s a lot pain when I put my skates on. It’s the worst. I can’t really push or anything like that.”
“It got a little worse today,” he said.
Beagle was injured last Thursday in the 3-2 overtime win against Pittsburgh. Beagle got in a fight with Penguins tough guy Arron Asham and needed to be helped off the ice, bleeding from his mouth. Beagle has not skated, nor been made available to the media, since the incident. Asked today if he had an idea when Beagle would return to the ice, Boudreau said, “Nope.”
The Panthers will likely start Jacob Markstrom in goal for his first NHL start. Markstrom, 21, is considered one of the top goalie prospects in the league. He played in relief in one game last season, allowing two goals on 14 shots against the New Jersey Devils. Last season for AHL Rochester, Markstrom was 16-20 with a 2.98 GAA and .907 Sv% in 37 games. Markstrom hails from Nicklas Backstrom’s hometown of Gavle, Sweden.
***Some quotes for this story were borrowed from published sources.