Goaltender Michal Neuvirth is slated to start his third game in four days for the Capitals tonight against the Ottawa Senators, and Coach Bruce Boudreau there wasn't any hesitation to give the 22-year-old a heavy workload early.
Although he might have entered training camp as a slightly lesser-known quantity on the NHL level than Semyon Varlamov, who took part in the full skate and stayed out for extra work this morning, Neuvirth has played quite well for the Capitals early. Through two games he has a .903 save percentage, stopping 58 of the 64 shots he's faced.
"We knew he could handle it," Boudreau said. "He played a lot of games in Hershey and he went back-to-back-to-back in the playoffs last year and played every playoff game...I've been saying it all along; he's a good goaltender."
Based on this morning's skate it looks like David Steckel and D.J. King will be the healthy scratches, but it's unclear who the odd man out on defense will be. Mike Green took part in only 10 minutes of practice but Boudreau said that was because of a problem with his skates.
King is the only forward who hasn't appeared in a game yet, but Boudreau said his decision to stick with the lineup that played Saturday against New Jersey against the Senators was easy -- that group won.
"I think the team that wins 7-2 and sticks together like they did deserves to get a chance to play together the next night," Boudreau said. "You get rewarded for winning and you don't get rewarded for losing. It's a pretty simple decision."