NEW YORK | Tomas Vokoun led the Washington Capitals onto the ice for pregame warm-ups at Madison Square Garden on Sunday afternoon, the universal sign that he would start against the New York Rangers.
Except when the rosters were released and the teams stepped back out for the game just after 12:30, Michal Neuvirth was in the Caps’ net. It was because Vokoun was battling the flu.
“He didn’t [feel well],” coach Dale Hunter said. “He tried to do it in warm-up, but he wasn’t feeling 100 percent, so that’s why we tried to go with Neuvy then.
Neuvirth had lost his only game against the Rangers this season, allowing six goals on 33 shots Nov. 25. It was the second-to-last game of Bruce Boudreau’s tenure as coach.
He was better in this one, and none of the goals could really be pegged on him.
“We’ve got confidence in both of our goalies and Neuvy played great tonight,” center Mathieu Perreault said. “The goals he got scored on, it’s not much he could do, and he made some big saves for us.”