As injuries plague their top two goaltenders, the Washington Capitals may have to turn to a rookie for the responsibility of a playoff opener.
With Tomas Vokoun (groin) and Michal Neuvirth (leg) on the sidelines, Braden Holtby sits atop the list of healthy Capitals bodies to face the Boston Bruins' vaunted scoring attack. Boston is the only NHL team to house six 20-goal scorers this season -- C Tyler Seguin (29), LW Brad Marchand (28), LW Milan Lucic (26), C David Krejci (23), C Patrice Bergeron (22) and C Chris Kelly (20) -- leaving Washington's defense with its hands full.
Holtby shined in the club's regular-season finale against the Rangers, stopping 35 shots in a 4-1 win over the Eastern Conference's top team. Sitting behind Vokoun and Neuvirth, he saw seven games of action, going 4-2-1 in those contests.
While Neuvirth was briefly on the ice Monday, he did not practice with the team. The Washington Post reports that Head Coach Dale Hunter labeled his condition as "just day to day," adding that the leg injury is "not bad." As for Vokoun, General Manager George McPhee said he is “a little bit behind Neuvirth," according to the Washington Times.
Washington took the regular-season series from Boston, 3-1, with Holtby seeing action in none of those contests.
Here's a look back at the clubs' 2012 regular season matchups. Do you have the Caps moving on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals? Weigh in with our poll below.