Mar 4, 2011, 2:21 PM EDT
The Caps announced that goalie Semyon Varlamov would not be joining them on their road trip and that he’ll likely be out another 7-10 days with an apparent knee injury. With Varlamov out, Michal Neuvirth has taken hold of the starting job in Washington and he’s been outstanding of late.
In Neuvirth’s last three starts he’s allowed just five goals and won all three games. His save percentage over those games is a stellar .943 with a 1.67 goals against average. Stepping it up while Varlamov’s been down has been key for the Capitals as they’re now just one point behind Tampa Bay for the lead in the Southeast Division.
If Neuvirth can keep that brand of play up while Varlamov is out with yet another injury, it could make Varlamov’s presence in Washington redundant. While Varlamov and Neuvirth have found a way to split time while they’ve been healthy, with Varlamov out Neuvirth has carried the load well and with the playoffs approaching, having one goalie to bank on is important. Neuvirth is taking control of the starting job in Washington and while Varlamov is the more experienced of the two guys (even slightly) you can’t argue about who’s been the most reliable this season.
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