In a decision that left both Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth "surprised," Neuvirth was told today he will be the starter in goal Saturday night when the Capitals open the 2011-12 regular season at the Verizon Center.
"The coaches told me after practice today," Neuvirth told CSNwashington.com. "I was a bit surprised. I opened the season last year and now I open it this year as well."
Vokoun was brought in as the Capitals' No. 1 goalie when he signed a one-year, 1.5 million contract on July 1.
"Certainly, it's a surprise," Vokoun told CSNwashington.com. "It's not my decision. Sometimes you like (those decisions), sometimes you don't like them. We haven't even played a game yet, so it's premature to be upset. Its not a good feeling, but I've played hockey for 30 years. Things happen."
Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was unhappy that word on his starter for Saturday made its way to the media, saying "I didn't know that was public knowledge now."
According to Vokoun, Capitals goalie coach Dave Prior informed him that he will play Monday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Neuvirth outplayed Vokoun in the preseason, going 2-1 with a 1.34 GAA and a .940 save percentage. Vokoun went 1-2 with a 3.26 GAA and .870 save percentage.
"I had a pretty good preseason," Neuvirth said "Training camp went good. I was happy with my efforts and that's probably why I'm playing. We have 82 games and the season is long. I'm working hard and I will try my best."