Open thread: Capitals vs. Avalanche

October 12, 2013

Michal Neuvirth makes his first start of the season Saturday against the Avalanche. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Michal Neuvirth, who made 27 saves in a relief outing against Calgary, gets his first start of the young season in a showdown with his former teammate. Semyon Varlamov (3-0-0, .967 save percentage, 1.00 GAA) returns to face the team that drafted him for the first time since the Capitals traded him to Colorado in July 2011.

In front of Neuvirth, Washington sticks with essentially the same forward configuration but will feature some inexperience on defense. The Capitals bottom three defensemen, Steve Oleksy, Alex Urbom and Nate Schmidt, have appeared in a combined 45 NHL regular season and playoff games.

Talk about the game right here and pass the time before puck drop with these reads.

Oates preaches patience | Varlamov returns

Patrick Roy visits D.C. for first time as coach | Schmidt to make NHL debut

Greenberg: Disciplined aggression in today’s NHL

Faceoff: 7 p.m., Verizon Center
TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7 FM and 1500 AM

Here is the Capitals’ lineup.

Forwards
Johansson-Backstrom-Ovechkin
Laich-Grabovski-Brouwer
Chimera-Fehr-Ward
Erat-Beagle-Wilson

Defense
Alzner-Green
Urbom-Carlson
Schmidt-Oleksy

Goal: Neuvirth, Holtby.
Scratches: John Erskine (upper body) and Aaron Volpatti.
LTIR: Jack Hillen (fractured tibial plateau)

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Katie Carrera | October 12, 2013