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Michal Neuvirth helps himself, Capitals in mini-run

Michal Neuvirth

Washington Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth (30), of the Czech Republic, deflects a shot from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Washington, on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


As disappointing as Tomas Vokoun has been at times this season, his numbers have towered over Michal Neuvirth, so the sense was that the Washington Capitals would go as far as Vokoun could take them.

In the grand scheme of things, that might still be the case. Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Neuvirth has been the starter in every game during the team’s current three-game winning streak.

As’s Kellie Cowan points out, Neuvirth is making the most of this most recent opportunity. After losing three games in a row, Neuvirth oddly put together two straight no-decisions* and then this current three-game streak in which he’s allowed just five goals on 85 shots.

It’s a small sample size for a guy who’s still just putting up “average NHL goalie” numbers (9-9-3 record, .903 save percentage and 2.83 GAA), but considering the Caps’ far-from-certain playoff future, a little goalie competition could be a great thing.

* -On Feb. 20, Neuvirth allowed three goals on 33 shots against the Carolina Hurricanes. On the other end of the neutral appearance spectrum, Neuvirth stopped all 14 of the Ottawa Senators’ starts on Feb. 22.