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Capitals Recall Brian Pothier, Simeon Varlamov from Hershey, assign Michal Neuvirth

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have recalled defenseman Brian Pothier and goaltender Simeon Varlamov from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) and assigned goaltender Michal Neuvirth to Hershey, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today.

Pothier, 31, is a third-year Capital who suffered a concussion Jan. 3, 2008, at Boston and missed the remainder of the season and has not played in the NHL this season. He recently completed a four-game conditioning stint with the Bears and is available to make his season debut with the Capitals tomorrow night in Atlanta, the same city where he made his NHL debut nearly eight years ago (April 3, 2001, as a Thrasher).

The 6’0”, 200-pound native of New Bedford, Mass., is a veteran of seven NHL seasons and has compiled 100 points (20 goals, 80 assists) in 292 career games. In his only full season with the Capitals, 2006-07, he led all club defensemen in points (28) and assists (25) and led the team in ice time (23:59 per game) while appearing in 72 games.

Varlamov, 20, is a first-year pro who stands 6’1”, 201 pounds. He has compiled an 18-6-1 record in Hershey this season and has two shutouts, a .910 save percentage and a 2.47 goals-against average (GAA). Varlamov is 2-0-0 with the Capitals this year. He made his NHL debut in Montreal on Dec. 13 and beat the Canadiens, 2-1, to become the youngest Russian-born goaltender to make an NHL start and the first NHL goalie in more than 30 years to win his debut at Montreal (since Hardy Astrom, New York Rangers, on Feb. 25, 1978). He made 32 saves in Montreal and 29 saves in a 4-2 win against St. Louis on Dec. 18.

The Samara, Russia, native was the Capitals’ first-round choice, 23rd overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He played in 44 games for Yaroslavl in the Russian Super League last year, posting three shutouts and a 2.45 GAA. Varlamov was selected to Russia’s 2008 World Championship team but missed the competition because of an injury.

Neuvirth is a first-year pro who stands 6’1”, 199 pounds. He returns to Hershey after dressing 19 games for Washington. The 20-year-old saw action in five games and has a 2-1-0 NHL record. He made his NHL debut on Feb. 14 in Tampa Bay and defeated the Lightning, 5-1. The Usi Labem, Czech Republic, native was the Capitals’ second-round choice, 34th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
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