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Theodore likely Boudreau's choice to start Game 2

by Dan Rosen

"It's not going to be a surprise. Theo is our No. 1 goalie."
-- Bruce Boudreau

ARLINGTON, Va. -- While not giving away the secret he's holding so closely, Washington coach Bruce Boudreau did hint after Friday's practice that Jose Theodore will likely be his starting goalie for Game 2 of the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New York Rangers (1 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN, RDS).

"It's not going to be a surprise," Boudreau said. "Theo is our No. 1 goalie."

Told that it sounds as if he's already made up his mind, Boudreau backtracked slightly by saying, "Assume what you want to assume. I'm not saying anything. I will think (Henrik) Lundqvist is playing, though."

Theodore, who came under scrutiny after allowing four goals on 21 shots in Wednesday's 4-3 loss, said he hasn't heard anything from Boudreau and is "assuming I'm in."

Drury feels better -- Rangers captain Chris Drury, who sat out of Game 1 with an undisclosed injury, skated on his normal line (between Markus Naslund and Ryan Callahan) during Friday's practice at Verizon Center.

Drury is still being listed as a gametime decision, but said, "It feels better than (Thursday) and hopefully it feels even better (Saturday). We'll see." If he can't play, Aaron Voros will sub in again and Brandon Dubinsky will move up to center the second line.

Pothier in, Schultz out -- There may not be a change in the Capitals' goal, but their will be one on their blue line as Brian Pothier will play for Jeff Schultz, who is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

Pothier, who is the Capitals' Masterton Trophy nominee, played in only nine games this season due to post-concussion syndrome. He played in 16 playoff games with the Ottawa Senators from 2002-06.

"He's been in this situation," Boudreau said. "He's won a championship in the American Hockey League. He hasn't been in the NHL playoffs in a couple of years, but I'm sure he's excited and I'm sure he's ready to play. He played well for us down the stretch and I have no qualms about putting him in. I told him (Thursday) that he's going to play."

Scare at Rangers practice -- During a drill, Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist collided with 6-foot-6 winger Nik Antropov and got up favoring what looked to be his left arm. Lundqvist, though, said, "I just hurt my neck a little, but it's fine. No problem."

Fun at Caps practice -- The Capitals closed a light-hearted practice with a penalty-shot drill. The goalies, Theodore and Varlamov, each picked sides and somehow Varlamov ended up with Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Sergei Fedorov and Mike Green.

Clearly owning an advantage as he faced mostly third and fourth liners save for Nicklas Backstrom and Viktor Kozlov, Varlamov won the game over Theodore by stopping more shots.

"Good team," Ovechkin said.

Boudreau said the idea behind the game was to keep things light, fresh and fun before Game 2 on Saturday.

"I just thought it was a little fun game that we could play and they were into it," he said. "I wouldn't have done it if the practice hadn't gone as well as it did. I thought they practiced well and they deserved something like that."

But, why did Theodore pick all the grinders?

"I don't know," Boudreau said with a smile. "The GM in him wasn't that good today."

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