The Washington Capitals are looking to limp their way into the 2012 playoffs. If Washington didn’t have enough headaches already thanks to their super stars they are now dealing with the goaltending woes that no team wants to be faced with this close to playoffs.
As we already know, netminder Michal Neuvirth was scheduled to see a doctor Friday afternoon after suffering a lower body injury on Thursday. The results of that examination aren’t known, but it looks like Neuvirth probably won’t play on Saturday. The Washington Capitals summoned Dany Sabourin Friday night so that he would be available for Saturday’s game.
With Tomas Vokoun also sidelined, the Capitals are projected to start Braden Holtby and use Dany Sabourin as their backup. In other words, Washington will finish out the season with the AHL Hershey Bears’ goaltending tandem. And Holtby is all too familiar with being in the Capitals line-up this season.
Washington will play the first place New York Rangers on Saturday in a game that will be a playoff preview if the Rangers win. If Washington wins and the Florida Panthers lose in regulation time, then Washington will claim the Southeast Division and the third seed. In that scenario, they will have home ice advantage against the New Jersey Devils in the first round. Alternatively, If Washington wins, Florida picks up at least one point in their season finale, and Ottawa loses in regulation time, then the Capitals will take the seventh seed and play the Boston Bruins in the first round.
The New York Rangers have already locked up the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but they’re still fighting for the Presidents’ Trophy. A win against the Capitals on Saturday would lock it up, not to mention ensure that they start the playoffs against a team that might have two injured goalies going into the first round.