Updated 2 p.m. Goaltender Michal Neuvirth left the ice less than 20 minutes into Monday’s practice with what the team will only describe as a lower-body injury. Coach Adam Oates said the Capitals were simply playing it safe with Neuvirth, who tightened up during practice.
“I think he’ll be fine,” Oates said. “He just had a little tightness and we want to be precautionary.”
The Capitals were running through a loose, upbeat workout at their practice facility in Arlington with the players divided into two groups. To start the session, skaters rotated through 3-on-0s, trying to score on the other group’s netminder. Neuvirth’s injury occurred during that competition drill, prompting him to head to the dressing room.
Neuvirth has appeared in seven games this season, starting five, recording a 2-3-1 record with a 2.83 goals-against average and .912 save percentage. Washington doesn’t play again until Wednesday when they host the Ottawa Senators, but if Neuvirth is unable to back up expect either Philipp Grubauer (4-4-1, 2.60 GAA, .910 save percentage in the AHL this season) or David Leggio (2-4-1, 3.27 GAA, .894 save percentage in the AHL) to be recalled from Hershey. The Bears play Wednesday as well, home against the St. John’s IceCaps.