For some non-sports hernia related news, Tomas Vokoun will make a 10th consecutive start in net tonight, setting a new season high for straight starts, as the Capitals close out their homestand against the New York Islanders.

It’s been an impressive run for the 35-year-old Czech netminder, who is 7-2 in the previous nine games having stopped 267 of 284 shots for a .940 save-percentage and 1.97 goals-against average.

What’s unclear is whether Vokoun’s streak will continue given that Washington plays the second of this back-to-back set in Montreal Wednesday. That contest against the Canadiens will mark the Capitals’ third game in four nights and it’s possible the coaching staff could decide to give Vokoun a night off. That said, they could keep rolling with the hot hand as well.

Vokoun certainly doesn’t mind the heavy workload.

“For me it’s a lot tougher when you play once in awhile, when you gotta kind of build the momentum every time you play then you sit for a long time, don’t know how you’re going to respond,” Vokoun said. “For me, it’s not a problem I’m somewhat used to that, to me it’s an easier way to play than the other way around.”

As Vokoun’s successful stretch continues, the length of time between starts for second-year back up Michal Neuvirth widens.

“Tomas is playing great right now. Nothing I can do other than work hard,” Neuvirth said Monday. “It’s pretty tough. But Tomas been good right now. He’s been good and he’s winning. So why would we change anything?”

Neuvirth, 23, last saw game action on Jan. 9 at Los Angeles where he stopped seven of eight shots in a third-period relief effort with the game already out of hand. His most recent start came back on Dec. 26 at Buffalo, nine games ago. In that outing he allowed three goals on six shots in 11 minutes at the start of what was one of Washington’s most lopsided efforts of the season in a 4-2 loss to the Sabres.

Neuvirth also said that not having goaltending coach Dave Prior in Washington has been tough on him. Prior was away scouting in Hershey or South Carolina, where the Capitals’ AHL and ECHL affiliates are respectively, according to a team spokesman. Prior is expected to be back in Washington in time to attend the game against the Islanders Tuesday night.

Lines this morning


It appears as though Jeff Schultz, John Erskine and Mathieu Perreault will be the healthy scratches tonight.

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