Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Michal Neuvirth Dominates in Capitals Win
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.