Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Michal Neuvirth Dominates in Capitals Win

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There is no denying that the Washington Capitals are an improved team defensively this season. Look no further than the fact they entered Monday night with the No. 7 ranking in goals allowed per game (up from 15th a year ago) and owned the No. 5 penalty kill in the league (up from 25th).

Tuesday's 1-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins, however, wasn't about defensive improvement. It was about one player, and one player only: Goaltender Michal Neuvirth.

The 22-year-old was simply the best player on the ice from start to finish, stopping all 39 shots he faced against an injury-depleted Penguins team. Washington spent much of the night pinned in its own end and getting outshot by a 39-24 margin, including a 14-3 disadvantage in the third period. In the end, though, it didn't matter as the Penguins couldn't find a way to solve Neuvirth.

 

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