Michal Neuvirth will get his third straight start Tuesday night for the Washington Capitals against the Nashville Predators. It’s the first time he has started three in a row all season.
There has been a lot of talk about Neuvirth needed a string of starts to gain confidence, but Dale Hunter said the 23-year-old has also earned it.
“He’s got a clean slate since I started coaching,” Hunter said. “We ran the numbers; he’s played four games for us and he’s got over .920 save percentage, which is good.”
Neuvirth as a .923 save percentage to be precise. And that even includes his giving up a bad goal Saturday night at the Colorado Avalanche.
“He’s a young guy still and he’s a competitor and he wants to win. He knew it – everybody in the building knew that he just missed it and didn’t see it I guess. Didn’t pick it up,” Hunter said. “He bounced back and gave us a solid game after.”
That bounce back impressed Hunter enough to give him the nod over Tomas Vokoun.
“He settled back down. It’s one of those things that you’ve got to put it in the back of your mind. It’s like getting a breakaway and you don’t even get a shot off,” Hunter said. “It happens. As a forward, you’re kicking yourself, but you have to move on.”
Anders Lindback gets the start for the Nashville Predators, not Pekka Rinne, who’s likely an All-Star this season.
“[Rinne] was a Vezina candidate last year but he might still be the most underrated goalie maybe in the league,” Caps forward Brooks Laich said.