Slipping and sliding around the “ice” in Baltimore wasn’t Michal Neuvirth’s best game. To little fault of his own, he allowed a couple goals in his preseason debut – a loss to the Predators.
The second time around was vintage Neuvirth – if by vintage you’re talking about the latter half of last season. He finished with 22 saves and was positionally sound as usual in beating the Blue Jackets Tuesday night at Verizon Center.
“We knew he was very good last year. This is not a surprise with Michal Neuvirth playing good,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “There was a reason he played in the playoffs for us and down the stretch: Because he’s a very good goalie.”
Neuvirth had to deal with several rebound saves, especially in the first period, and had little problem denying Columbus.
“I was feeling great right from the start,” Neuvirth said. “I think their best period was in the first and I think I made a couple key saves and after that I was in the zone and I was feeling great. A great team effort, not just me.”
Neuvirth lost the shutout on a five-hole goal he allowed in the third period to Caps-killer Vinny Prospal. But in the preseason, especially, that shouldn’t overshadow his stellar performance.
“They didn’t have a full lineup, but me and my teammates, I think we had a pretty good game,” Neuvirth said. “It just sucks that we couldn’t get the shutout.”
Read more about Neuvirth here - my feature story in Tuesday’s paper.