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Posted at 11:22 AM ET, 03/06/2012

Michal Neuvirth to face Carolina, Keith Aucoin back in Capitals’ lineup

Michal Neuvirth was the first goaltender off the ice this morning and it appears he will make his sixth consecutive start tonight as the Capitals host the Carolina Hurricanes.

Over the course of his five consecutive starts, Neuvirth allowed 11 goals on 128 shots for a .914 save percentage and 2.20 goals-against average. He’s appeared in seven straight games leading up to this tilt, though, and during that span he has allowed 14 goals on 161 shots with a .920 save percentage and 2.19 goals-against average.

“He’s been good,” Coach Dale Hunter said. “The one game kind of got away but last game against Philly he was solid. They scored off a deflection so he gets the start again.”

Hunter said that Tomas Vokoun is good to go after taking part in two consecutive days of practice. The veteran netminder aggravated a lower-body injury over the weekend, possibly a groin problem, but was on the ice for extra work Tuesday and is expected to back up Neuvirth against Carolina.

A few other quick notes from the morning skate:

— Look for Keith Aucoin to be back in the mix after serving as a healthy scratch against Philadelphia.

“Just more getting a faster lineup again,” Hunter said when asked about the lineup switch. “These guys aren’t as big as Philly was and get some offense going. He had a big game in Toronto, scored and had an assist. We need some goals.”

— That means Mike Knuble will be a healthy scratch again, along with Roman Hamrlik and John Erskine. All three took part in extra work with the assistant coaches this morning.

— The Capitals didn’t skate line rushes during the morning skate, but the lineup will likely be similar to what the team used in Monday’s practice. They were as follows:

Ovechkin-Laich-Johansson
Chimera-Perreault-Semin
Hendricks-Beagle-Brouwer
Aucoin-Halpern-Ward

More from Post Sports:
Capitals send Holtby back to Hershey
Tomas Vokoun: ‘I feel pretty good’
Hunter got right response from Ovechkin
Backstrom in Sweden to visit family
Flyers defeat Washington 1-0
Ovechkin: ‘My mistake cost us two points’

By  |  11:22 AM ET, 03/06/2012

 
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