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Caps goalie Vokoun is “available” to play Thursday

Tomas Vokoun

Washington Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun (29) celebrates after a 2-1 win against the Florida Panthers in an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla., Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)


Tomas Vokoun is ready and willing to get back between the pipes Thursday in Boston, reports the Washington Times.

“Yes. I’m available. We’ll see what coaches decision they’re going to make,” Vokoun said after this morning’s practice. “But it was very good today. I had very good last two days. Two hard practices. We’ll see.”

Vokoun last played Mar. 16 when he aggravated a groin injury in Winnipeg. Since then, Michal Neuvirth and rookie Braden Holtby have shared the load, to varying degrees of success.

Suffice to say, in the wake of last night’s 5-1 home loss to the Sabres in which Holtby was pulled after surrendering three goals on 15 shots, coach Dale Hunter has a big decision to make.

“I wouldn’t play if I couldn’t,” said Vokoun. “If I felt like I wouldn’t be 100 percent out there I don’t want to hurt the guys playing at 90 percent. I feel like I can play 100 percent and hopefully give a good game and win the game.”

Also of note, Nicklas Backstrom is “close, close to playing,” but he won’t play in Boston. More on that from