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At the Rink blog

Caps' Vokoun dealing with groin injury

Monday, 03.19.2012 / 3:32 PM

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

DETROIT -- After not dressing for Sunday's game in Chicago, Washington Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun was unable to go through an optional morning skate Monday at Joe Louis Arena.

He stretched and then came off the ice. Afterward, he told reporters it was more of a precautionary measure to prevent a nagging groin injury from getting worse.

"It wasn't good enough to skate, but it's better," Vokoun said. "I came back a little too early before and we just want to make sure now we don't make it worse. You always worry about it, but you never know. I'm going to try and get it as good as fast as possible."

The injury has bothered him for quite a while, but he re-aggravated it last Friday playing in Winnipeg.

"I kind of irritated it," Vokoun said. "I've had it for a longer time. It didn't happen last game. Obviously, with our job description, there's a lot of pressure on that certain (groin area). Like I said, I just want to make sure I don't take one step forward and three back."

Capitals coach Dale Hunter also called it "precautionary" and didn't reveal who would start Monday's game against the Detroit Red Wings. Signs seem to point to Michal Neuvirth getting his second straight start, however, after taking the loss in a 5-2 defeat Sunday in Chicago.

The other option is 22-year old Braden Holtby, whose only other NHL action this season was a Feb. 13 against San Jose, when he allowed five goals on 30 shots. Holtby worked with goalie coach Olie Kolzig during the sparsely-attended optional skate, while Neuvirth sat out.

Vokoun, meanwhile, seemed a little frustrated by his lingering injury.

"I've never had any experience with (this)," he said. "I've never had it. It's unfortunate and I can't control that stuff. We're working on it and as soon as I feel it's good enough to, you know, play ... then I'll play."

It's hard to walk into that locker room and look those guys in the eye when they've played -- clearly, that was our best game we've played in the series -- and I thought we deserved a better fate tonight.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his team's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 on Sunday