In what can only be seen as a vote of confidence in his No. 1 goaltender, Capitals coach Dale Hunter told reporters in Raleigh, N.C., today that Tomas Vokoun will start tonight against the Hurricanes at RBC Center.
The Capitals are coming off a 3-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens in which goaltender Michal Neuvirth was named No.1 star with a 31-save shutout. Before that game Hunter told his goalies that Neuvirth would get the start in Montreal and Vokoun would get the call in Carolina.
In other lineup news, rookie defenseman Tomas Kundratek is expected to return to the lineup after sitting out Wednesday nights game in favor of gritty defenseman John Erskine.
Vokoun has won seven of his last 10 starts and carries a 19-11-0 record into tonights game. He has a 13-10-1-4 career record against the Hurricanes, including a 2-1 victory at the Verizon Center on Jan. 15.
What does Hunters decision to start Vokoun mean for Neuvirth? It could mean he gets a chance to face the Penguins Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh.Neuvirth has not faced the Pens this season and his 2-0-1 against them in his career.
Vokoun is 2-1-0 against the Pens this season, including a 1-0 shutout victory on Jan. 11. Vokoun has allowed just four goals in his three games against the Pens this season and owns a career mark of 9-10-2-4 against them.