The Washington Times - April 18, 2011, 01:14PM

Michael Neuvirth’s stat line in the first three games of this series against the Rangers is pretty sparkling – 2-1 with a 1.22 goals-against average and .951 save percentage.

Even in Sunday afternoon’s loss at Madison Square Garden didn’t seem to rattle the young goalie.


“You knew it was a tough game, a tough loss,” he said Monday morning. “There’s still a lot of hockey left, and you gotta be ready for Wednesday night.”

Neuvirth’s calm demeanor is a major strength of his game – and he showed that not only one the ice Sunday but in interviews Monday. When asked what Sean Avery was saying to him, the 23-year-old goalie smirked and responded: “The crowd was pretty loud so I couldn’t understand.”

But not loud enough to rattle him. Even the Rangers’ shots didn’t have too much of an effect, as it’s difficult to fault Neuvirth for any of the Game 3 goals.

“The [Erik] Christensen goal there wasn’t much he could do. The third goal, it bounces off two of our guys and goes into the net,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “They had 35 shots. I think he was pretty stellar for the most part. I think he’s handling this tremendously. He’s calm as a cucumber.”

Even when the Rangers kept running into him – which did not make the Caps happy.

“[Vinny] Prospal went in there. [Sean] Avery fell into him. [Brandon] Prust went into him on purpose,” Boudreau said. “I mean, they’re doing all of that stuff and trying to get him off his game, but the good thing about Michal is it doesn’t seem to affect him.”

Neuvirth said he noticed more traffic and the extracurriculars around and after whistles. But he didn’t seem too bothered by it all.

“It’s all business,” Neuvirth said.