PITTSBURGH, Pa. | On Wednesday, the absence of Michal Neuvirth from practice appeared to be a bad sign for the Capitals. On Thursday everyone found out that he was not playing - and would not even be in uniform against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Neuvirth (lower-body injury) did not make the trip to Pittsburgh. The Caps on Thursday morning recalled goaltender Braden Holtby from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League. But Holtby will be the backup for Washington, and Tomas Vokoun will start.
As for Neuvirth, coach Bruce Boudreau said his condition is not “worse” than Wednesday, but he and the team didn’t see a point in bringing him if he cannot serve as the backup.
“It’s no more than day-to-day,” Boudreau said. “Every day we’ll phone – like when we get home tomorrow – ‘Is he ready to play?’ “
The 35-year-old Vokoun hopes this is a bounce-back effort after allowing five goals on 28 shots in his Caps debut Monday.
“Through your career you’re going to get thrown every possible obstacle there is,” Vokoun said Wednesday. “As a goalie in a sense you’ve got to have a short memory. What happened yesterday, it’s done – you can’t do anything about it. Today is brand-new day.”