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Capitals undermanned in goal to start playoffs

Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff  April 9, 2012 02:41 PM

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Assuming Tomas Vokoun (groin) and Michal Neuvirth (leg) won’t be ready for Game 1, 22-year-old Braden Holtby will get the call to start the playoffs between the pipes. Holtby has never appeared in an NHL playoff game.

Holtby will be backed up by Dany Sabourin. The Capitals recalled the ex-Bruin from Hershey today.

While the Capitals will be inexperienced in goal, they will have plenty of firepower in Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, and Nicklas Backstrom. With the Bruins having last change to start the playoffs, Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg should be seeing plenty of shifts against Ovechkin, Brooks Laich, and Troy Brouwer.

“I think it’s pretty hard to deny that Z is not going to play against their best players,” Claude Julien said. “At the same time, I really feel there’s a lot more than just Ovechkin on that team. Let’s not get caught up at looking at one player. Backstrom is back. Semin can score. They’ve got some decent players. Brooks Laich has been a good player for them as well. Their back end is very good at moving the puck up the ice and bringing the attack up. There’s a lot of strengths on that hockey club. I feel the team is playing really well right now. We’re going to be playing against a team that has a lot of confidence heading into the playoffs.”

Courtesy of the Washington Post, here is the likely lineup for Game 1:

Alex Ovechkin-Brooks Laich-Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera-Nicklas Backstrom-Alexander Semin
Matt Hendricks-Jay Beagle-Marcus Johansson
Keith Aucoin-Mathieu Perreault-Joel Ward

Karl Alzner-John Carlson
Jeff Schultz-Dennis Wideman
Roman Hamrlik-Mike Green

Braden Holtby
Dany Sabourin

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