WASHINGTON – The Washington Capitals will have a different look Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens, with Michal Neuvirth making his season debut and Wojtek Wolski expected to see time on Washington’s No.1 line.
The Capitals are 0-2-0 for the first time since Oct. 1996.
“I feel cold, but, you know, this is job I picked and I’ve got to handle it,” said Neuvirth, who dressed as Braden Holtby’s backup for the first two games this season.
“I’m trying to stay positive and happy. I felt good during practice… and I’m ready to go.”
Neuvirth played in 24 games for HC Sparta Praha in the Czech Republic this fall, and appeared in 38 games for the Capitals last season. He has a 4-0-1 lifetime record against Montreal with a .939 save percentage, 1.82 goals-against-average and a shutout.
“Obviously I’ve just coached against him and I know that’s a very good goalie,” Oates said after Thursday’s morning skate. “I’ll like seeing him wearing my sweater.”
Here are the projected lineups for the Capitals and Canadiens:
Wojtek Wolski – Nicklas Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin
Matt Hendricks – Mike Ribeiro – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Jay Beagle – Joel Ward
Marcus Johansson – Mathieu Perreault – Joey Crabb
Karl Alzner – John Carlson
Tom Poti – Mike Green
Roman Hamrlik – Tomas Kundratek
Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais – Erik Cole
Rene Bourque – Tomas Plekanec – Brian Gionta
Brandon Prust – Alex Galchenyuk – Brendan Gallagher
Travis Moen – Ryan White – Colby Armstrong
Andrei Markov – Alexei Emelin
Josh Gorges – Tomas Kaberle
Francis Bouillon – Raphael Diaz