The Washington Times - February 26, 2009, 05:21PM

Michael Nylander will be the odd man out up front tonight, so says Bruce Boudreau. Nylander will be a healthy scratch for the fifth time this season. After having a mini-burst of four points in four games and eight in nine, Nylander has been held off the scoresheet for four straight contests despite earning time on the top line and/or second power-play unit.

Boudreau also confirmed Neuvirth will make his second NHL start in net. Neuvirth stopped 31 of 32 shots to win his debut against Tampa Bay.

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The Caps coach also pointed out that the Thrashers are “playing their best hockey of the season” recently for the third time in as many press conferences — think he’s trying to sell that point to his players tonight? Atlanta is 3-1-1 in its past five games, and Ilya Kovalchuk looks more like the dynamic superforward he’s been the past couple of years.