Caps Practice Recap: Michal Neuvirth Returns In Back-up Role
ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSDC) — The Washington Capitals held a full practice today a night after evening the series at two games a piece with a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins. The Caps will fly to Boston this afternoon for game five tomorrow at 3pm and then have a quick turn around for game six on Sunday at Verizon Center.
Alex Ovechkin only played 1:58 in the third period last night, 15 seconds in the final 14 minutes of the period and didn’t play at all the last 5:50 of the game.
“We were matching lines and they were going back with the Bergeron line a lot,” Capitals Head Coach Dale Hunter said. “Sometimes some lines get short changed a bit.”
Hunter added: “It’s just your game plan, what you go into. We’re matching lines”.
“Of course I want to be out there, but it’s his decision,” Ovechkin said.
Capitals back-up goalie Dany Sabourin was sent down earlier today back to AHL Hershey. Michal Neuvirth is healthy enough to back-up Braden Holtby tomorrow in Boston.
“Obviously it’s good to be back,” Neuvirth said. “Obviously Sabby [Saboruin] got to play down there, and that’s why I’ll be the backup.”
Neuvirth added: “Obviously you need a lot of painkillers and try to get through the pain. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
Neuvirth also said that his lower body injury won’t be 100 percent until it get’s time to heal over the summer.
The Caps forward lines today looked like: Ovechkin-Backstrom-Laich, Johansson-Aucoin-Semin, Hendricks-Beagle-Knuble, Chimera-Perreault-Brouwer, Sjogren-Halpern-Ward.
All eight Caps defenseman also practiced.
Jay Beagle had five blocked shots last night including a huge one on Johnny Boychuk with seven seconds remaining in the third.
“When the coaches give me a chance to get out there in the last nine seconds,” Beagle said. “I’m going to do everything I can to block that shot.”
Caps star center Nicklas Backstrom will make his return Saturday after being suspended last night due to a match penalty at the end of game three.
“I’ve apologized to everybody,” Backstrom said. “I’m just looking forward, life goes on, and it’s a new game Saturday.”
Caps goalie Tomas Vokoun didn’t skate today as he continues to recover from re-aggravating his groin.
Listen here to what Dale Hunter, Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby, Nicklas Backstrom, Dennis Wideman, Troy Brouwer, Michal Neuvirth & Jay Beagle had to say following practice today.
Dale Hunter Practice Audio
Alex Ovechkin Practice Audio
Braden Holtby Practice Audio
Nicklas Backstrom Practice Audio
Dennis Wideman Practice Audio
Troy Brouwer Practice Audio
Michal Neuvirth Practice Audio
Jay Beagle Practice Audio