The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers get their 2011 NHL Playoffs series underway on Wednesday at 7 p.m., and we now know which goalie will start for Washington. Michal Neuvirth, who started the majority of the season, will also get the call for Game 1, he announced after practice on Tuesday.
Neuvirth gets the call over Semyon Varlamov, who has struggled with injuries. For the season, Neuvirth has a 27-12 record with a 2.45 goals-against average and a 91.2 percent save percentage. Varlamov, meanwhile, has an 11-9 record with a 2.23 goals-against average and a 92.4 percent save percentage.
Of course, just because Neuvirth starts Game 1 doesn't mean we have seen the last of Varlamov. Coach Bruce Boudreau has elected to start Jose Theodore to begin the playoffs in each of the last two years, only to yank him quickly and insert Varlamov in net. There's no reason the same could not happen again this year.