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Capitals breakdown: Michal Neuvirth


Capitals breakdown: Michal Neuvirth Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Michal Neuvirth
Michal NeuvirthPosition: Goaltender
Age: 24
HtWt: 6-1, 209
Games: 38
Record: 13-13-5
Goals-Against Average: 2.82
Save Percentage: .903
Shutouts: 3
Contract Status: 1 year remaining on 2-year, 2.3 million contract 1.15 million cap hit in 2012-13

Strengths: Neuvirth has quick reflexes, moves side to side very well and has far more experience than most goalies his age with 108 NHL games in parts of four seasons. He also proved he can play at a high level in the 2011 playoffs, going 4-5 with a 2.34 GAA.

Weaknesses: Neuvirth played in the shadows of veteran Tomas Vokoun most of the season, but whenever he was given an opportunity to seize the starting duties away from Vokoun he stumbled. During a stretch in February he won three straights starts and appeared to have the upper hand before losing three in a row and losing the confidence of Dale Hunter. In the end, a lower body injury in the next-to-last game of the season ended Neuvirths forgettable season.

Memorable Moment on the ice: Neuvirths season ended much the same way it began. He injured his foot before the second game of the season on Oct. 10 when he was struck by a shot in pre-game warmups, and his season ended in the next-to-last game on April 5 when Floridas Marco Sturm fell on top of him, injuring his left leg and issuing in the Braden Holtby era. Stupid things happen like that, Hunter said after that game, in which the Capitals clinched a playoff spot. But Holtby came in and played great for us.

Memorable Moment off the ice: Its hard to forget the shock and disappointment on Neuvirths face when he learned on Feb. 13 that Braden Holtby would be starting a home game against the San Jose Sharks after being recalled from the Hershey Bears. It was an early indication of Hunters lack of confidence in the struggling young goalie, whose confidence never seemed to waver. Bad goals can bother you for a while and you need to wake up the next morning, have a good practice and good things will happen, Neuvirth said at the time. What doesnt kill you makes you stronger. There have been some ups and downs but I always bounce back.

2012-13 Expectations: Vokoun is no longer in the picture, but Neuvirth will still enter next season as the Capitals No. 2 goalie behind Holtby, provided the Capitals do not trade him and sign an experienced veteran such as the Rangers Martin Biron. Neuvirth knows just how fleeting playoff success can be and if he returns next season there will come a point in the season where he is given a chance to return to his role as the Caps No. 1 netminder. It will be interesting to see how he handles that opportunity the next time around, especially in the midst of a contract year.

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Game 74 Capitals at Red Wings Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread


Game 74 Capitals at Red Wings Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Detroit Red Wings

Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Mich.

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Red Wings will be broadcast on NBCSN.

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Red Wings game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


The Capitals (42-24-7) take on the Red Wings (27-35-11) Thursday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Detroit.


The Capitals-Red Wings game will be broadcast on NBCSN. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 6:30 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 7:00 p.m. Check back with NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 10:30 p.m. for postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:30 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
7:00 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:30 p.m. — Capitals at Red Wings (on NBCSN)
10:00 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:30 p.m. — Caps Overtime


Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Red Wings game:

Alex Ovechkin -  Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Travis Boyd - Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos

Philipp Grubauer starts with Braden Holtby as backup

Scratches: Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper body injury), Alex Chiasson, Jakub Jerabek


You can watch the Capitals-Red Wings game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: How does Brooks Orpik really impact the Caps?

NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: How does Brooks Orpik really impact the Caps?

No player on the Caps gets more scrutiny than defenseman Brooks Orpik. While the analytics aren't kind when he's on the ice, we got to see what the Caps looked like without him when he was scratched against the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday and...well, his loss was noticeable.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir discuss what Orpik's true impact on the Capitals really is both on and off the ice on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast. Plus, they also talk about John Carlson's monster season and Barry Trotz's new strategy for the goalies.

Listen to the latest episode in the player below or here on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.