RALEIGH, N.C. | Michal Neuvirth will start for the Washington Capitals on Friday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. But it’s not because Neuvirth picked up his first NHL shutout or has played well against the Hurricanes.
It’s because Tomas Vokoun did not fare well against them last season. Coach Bruce Boudreau said that was the reason for not just this decision but the one not to give him the nod in the season opener.
“I pay attention to Vokoun’s lack of it more than Michal’s success,” Boudreau said. ““Quite frankly I know Tomas didn’t have very good success against them last year.
“If we want to get back to it, that’s why he didn’t start Game 1 and he’s not starting the game now.”
Vokoun was 0-2 with a 4.66 goals-against average and .867 save percentage in three starts with the Florida Panthers against Carolina last season. In his career, the 35-year-old is 12-10-5 with a 2.81 GAA and .915 save percentage.
Neuvirth is 2-1 all-time against the Hurricanes with a 2.64 GAA and .911 save percentage. That includes a winning effort against Carolina on Oct. 8.