Coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed that Tomas Vokoun will start for the Capitals on Thursday night in Pittsburgh. It’s not a surprising decision because Michal Neuvirth did not make the trip with Washington to Pennsylvania.
Despite the 23-year-old’s absence on this trip, Boudreau maintained that Neuvirth is day-to-day and his condition — an undisclosed lower-body injury — has not worsened.
“No he’s not worse,” Boudreau said. “Our take is if he’s not ready to back up in case he’s needed, there’s no sense. We’ll see [Friday] and hopefully he’ll be on the ice with us [Friday].”
Boudreau wouldn’t comment when asked if it had been his plan all along to start Vokoun, regardless of Neuvirth’s health. Boudreau doesn’t buy into the theory that Vokoun necessarily needs a bounce-back game, either.
“I’ve watched a lot of goalies in the past and whether they’re having good games or bad games, when a goal is scored they just take the water bottle and take a drink,” Boudreau said. “I think that’s like water off a duck’s back. The game’s over; let’s get on to the next game. I don’t think he’s thinking about the last game.”
— Opposing Vokoun tonight will be former Capitals netminder Brent Johnson. Marc-Andre Fleury, who was the presumed starter, is sick.
— Based on the morning skate, Mathieu Perreault will be a healthy scratch against the Penguins. He stayed out for extra work with D.J. King, John Erskine and Braden Holtby.
— The Capitals’ lines are the same as they were in Wednesday’s practice: