Neuvirth to start against Canucks

Neuvirth to start against Canucks
October 28, 2013, 5:00 pm
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Updated news and notes as the Capitals [5-6-0] prepare to face the Vancouver Canucks [8-4-1] in their fourth and final game of a Canadian road trip that had previous stops in Winnipeg, Winnipeg and Calgary.

Neuvy gets the call: Michal Neuvirth [1-1-0, 3.08, .893] will make his second start of the season. Neuvirth stopped 17 of 19 shots in relief of Braden Holtby in Saturday night’s 5-2 loss in Calgary. His only full game came on Oct. 12 when he allowed five goals on 28 shots in a 5-1 home loss to Colorado.

Milestones: Defenseman John Carlson is one point shy of 100 NHL points. Defenseman Mike Green needs one point to pass Craig Laughlin [283] for 23rd on the Capitals’ all-time points list. Center Mikhail Grabovski is two goals shy of 100 career NHL goals.

Killing them softly: The Caps have killed 19 straight penalties, including a perfect 18 for 18 in their last six games. That’s the first time that’s happened since March 22-31, 2012.

Mr. October: Alex Ovechkin’s 10 goals in October is the second-most he’s scored in the month during his career. He holds the franchise record with 12 goals in 13 games in October 2009. Tonight marks the Caps’ 12th and final game of the month.

Chimmer me timbers: Left wing Jason Chimera has goals in two straight games and three for the season. His three goals in 11 games matches his goal total in 47 games last season.

Assistance: Top linemates Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson are tied for third in the NHL in assists with 10 each. Both players have recorded six assists in their last six games.

Hit me: The Caps rank ninth in the NHL in hits [280], led by Troy Brouwer’s 40. Brouwer ranks tied for sixth in the NHL in hits and has led the Caps in hits in seven of their 11 games this season. Brouwer finished second on the team in hits last season.

Here are projected lineups for the Caps and Canucks:

Capitals

Forward Lines

Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom- Alex Ovechkin
Marty Erat – Brooks Laich – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Mikhail Grabovski – Joel Ward
Aaron Volpatti – Eric Fehr – Tom Wilson

Defense Pairings

Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Nate Schmidt – Mike Green
Alex Urbom/John Erskine – Steve Oleksy

Goaltenders

Michal Neuvirth [starter] - Braden Holtby  

Canucks

Forward Lines

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Ryan Kesler
Chris Higgins - Mike Santorelli - Alex Burrows
Tom Sestito - Brad Richardson - Zack Kassian
Darren Archibald - Jeremy Welsh - Yannick Weber

Defense Pairings

Alexander Edler - Jason Garrison
Dan Hamhuis - Christopher Tanev
Ryan Stanton - Kevin Bieksa

Goaltenders

Roberto Luongo [starter] – Eddie Lack