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Posted at 12:57 PM ET, 10/21/2010

Semyon Varlamov off first, likely to start against Bruins

Semyon Varlamov was the first goaltender off the ice for the Capitals this morning at TD Garden in Boston and it appears he will get the start in this rematch against the Bruins. He will probably face Tuukka Rask, who is expected to get his first start of the season in the Bruins' home opener.

Here are some other notes from this morning's skate:
--The forward lines were the same as Wednesday's practice, with Marcus Johansson and Tomas Fleischmann switching spots and lines from where they've typically been this season. We'll see how long this lasts in the game tonight. Particularly for Fleischmann, the transition is an easy one because he played with Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr a handful of times last season as well.

--By virtue of the last change, Boston Coach Claude Julien can take his pick of defense and forward lines he can match up against the Capitals' top trio of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Knuble.

It will be interesting to see if he tries anything different from the Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk pairing or the Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton line that did so well against the group Tuesday.

"That's up to Claude today but [the Capitals' top line] guys have got to be able to do it," Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They've got to sit there and say: 'Hey listen, we're going to be better.' They know teams like to play strength-against-strength against them and we have to just be better at that and take more pride in that, I think."

--Michal Neuvirth remained out on the ice with the assistant coaches long after most of his teammates were on their way out of the building. Probably a good sign for his health, and Boudreau added that the goalie was feeling better.

--Mike Green (upper-body), Boyd Gordon (undisclosed) and Matt Bradley (lower-body), who was placed on injured reserve retroactive Oct. 12 prior to the Nashville game and can be reactivated at any time, did not make the trip to Boston.

--John Carlson played here in the preseason but this will be the rookie's first regular-season contest in one of his hometowns -- he lived in Natick, Mass. for seven years before moving to New Jersey -- with plenty of family members in the stands.

"It will be pretty electric in here tonight with the home opener, and my family's going to come out. It's going to be fun," Carlson said. "They might get ragged on a little bit for wearing Capitals jerseys, but it's pretty cool. I'm pretty excited."

--If you haven't heard, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler is singing the National Anthem for the game to go along with all of the other home-opening festivities here. Probably safe to say the start time will be a little late.

By  |  12:57 PM ET, 10/21/2010

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