Caps turn to backup Neuvirth in rematch with ‘Canes


For the first time in over a month, Michal Neuvirth is set to start in goal for the Washington Capitals.

Caps head coach Adam Oates confirmed today that Neuvirth is getting the nod Thursday in Carolina. Washington has lost three straight, including last night’s “terrible” 4-0 home defeat to the Hurricanes.

Neuvirth’s last start, on Feb. 7 versus Pittsburgh, didn’t last long, as he was replaced by Braden Holtby in the second period after allowing two goals on 11 shots in an eventual 5-2 loss.

“It’s been a long time since I started,” Neuvirth said today, per CSNWashington. “I’ve been good in practice but practice is not a game.”

The 24-year-old did see some action Sunday in relief of Holtby, stopping 10 of 11 shots in a 4-1 loss to the Rangers.

Overall, Neuvirth is 1-4-1 with a low .890 save percentage.

Related: Oates reunites Ovechkin, Backstrom

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever


Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…