Update, 11:34 p.m.: Coach Dale Hunter said Michal Neuvirth is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury but didn’t offer any more details on the netminder’s status.
“We don’t know much right now,” Hunter said. “We’ve got one goalie down already, then another one goes down. It’s one of those things, sports, something stupid happens like that [Braden] Holtby came in and played great for us.”
While Hunter said the Capitals hope to know more about the extent of Neuvirth’s injury on Friday, they may need to recall someone to serve as a backup to Holtby.
Dany Sabourin is next in line but may not join the team until Saturday, given that he is currently the only goaltender on the Hershey Bears’ roster not on an amateur tryout agreement.
Earlier post: Already without Tomas Vokoun, the Capitals saw another goaltender go down with an injury Thursday night in the second period against the Florida Panthers.
Neuvirth did not return after Florida’s Marco Sturm fell on his left leg, sending the 24-year-old Czech to the ice writhing in pain with 5 minutes and 39 seconds gone in the middle stanza.
Neuvirth, who didn’t put weight on his left leg, needed assistance to get to the bench where he was then carried by members of the Capitals’ athletic training staff down the tunnel to the dressing room. The team is officially listing it as a lower-body injury.
While it’s unclear how severe Neuvirth’s injury is, this is an untimely blow to the Capitals’ depth in goal.
Vokoun is sidelined indefinitely with a strained groin muscle after aggravating the injury on March 29 in Boston. With Vokoun out, Washington turned to Neuvirth to shoulder the responsibility of being the No. 1 netminder down the stretch in the regular season and into the playoffs.
Now it’s 22-year-old Braden Holtby’s turn. He entered the contest against Florida – his 20th career appearance in an NHL game -- to a standing ovation and chants of “Holt-by, Holt-by” from the Verizon Center crowd.
Holtby stopped 12 of 14 shots to help the Capitals close out a 4-2 win over the Panthers in the relief effort. More on Holtby on Friday morning.