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Washington Capitals start Simeon Varlamov in goal against New York Rangers @NHL

WASHINGTON - The Washington Capitals are switching goalies for Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers.

Jose Theodore is being relegated to a backup role Saturday, and rookie Simeon Varlamov is getting his first NHL playoff start for Washington.

Theodore took the blame for Washington's 4-3 loss to New York in Game 1, when he allowed four goals on only 21 shots.

The 20-year-old Varlamov made only six appearances for Washington in the regular season, with five starts. His record was 4-0-1.

Theodore signed a US$9-million, two-year contract as a free agent last off-season and went 32-17-5. He was the NHL's MVP in 2002.

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