Michal Neuvirth was the star of the night Friday at New Jersey as the Capitals rookie goalie made 33 stops to record his fourth shutout of the season. It didn’t matter that his teammates mustered only 12 shots, because Neuvirth outdueled future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur.
In fact, he dominated.
“He was pretty good. You could tell he wanted it,” coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters at Prudential Center afterward. “Let’s face it, early on he was a difference. The whole game he was the difference.”
But as much as the talk afterward was about Neuvirth making his statement to be “the man” in net for the Caps when the playoffs start, Boudreau said each of his goaltenders will get to prove his worth. That includes Semyon Varlamov, who’s working his way back from an injury.
“We just keep going on. Varly’s gonna get his chance next week, and we’ll see where it goes,” Boudreau told reporters.
The Caps play three games in the next week-plus: at Philadelphia on Tuesday, at Ottawa on Friday and at Montreal on Saturday.
Let’s not forget that Braden Holtby was the NHL’s first star of the week and hasn’t lost since being called back up from Hershey.
Is it conceivable that all three goalies will get a start on the second leg of the road trip? Boudreau might not be giving up that sort of information yet.