Michal Neuvirth took part in a full 40-minute practice Friday at KCI, which is a good sign for the goaltender, who has missed four consecutive games with a bruised right foot.
“He was out there full time. I’ve gotta believe he’ll be ready to play in a game next week on the trip,” said Coach Bruce Boudreau, who doesn’t expect the 23-year-old to be ready to back up against the Red Wings Saturday. “I doubt if he’ll back up tomorrow — he may.”
Regardless of the backup, it’s probably a safe assumption that Tomas Vokoun will start against Detroit.
Meanwhile, reports out of Detroit indicate that No. 1 netminder Jimmy Howard will start for the Red Wings Friday night against Columbus while backup Ty Conklin will oppose the Capitals at Verizon Center Saturday.
“I’m feeling better and I can’t wait to get back on the team,” said Neuvirth, who was asked if he might be ready to back up Saturday. “I don’t know right now, it depends how it goes tomorrow pre game skate. It’s up to [athletic trainer Greg Smith] right now and he’s going to make the decision.”