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Montreal Canadiens' Jeff Halpern tries to deflect the puck past Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby during first period NHL hockey action Tuesday, March 15, 2011 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson)
Montreal Canadiens' Jeff Halpern tries to deflect the puck past Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby during first period NHL hockey action Tuesday, March 15, 2011 in Montreal. (Paul Chiasson)

Globe on Hockey

Caps have three goalies going after No. 1 job Add to ...









When was the last time a Stanley Cup contender entered the home stretch of the regular season with three goalies vying for the No. 1 job?



If it's ever happened before, it's about to happen again. So says Bruce Boudreau.



The Capitals coach was giving history lessons this week, and invoked a Ken Dryden comparison when discussing goaltender Braden Holtby, who has won five straight starts since being recalled from the American Hockey League. Boudreau said Holtby could become Washington's starter in the playoffs, à la Dryden with the 1971 Montreal Canadiens.



More interesting was Boudreau's suggestion that a three-horse race exists among Holtby, Michal Neuvirth, and Semyon Varlamov, who is expected to return from a knee injury next week, to be the team's playoff starter.



That's a huge choice(s) for Boudreau in the final eighth of the season, and come the playoffs. And it's an enormous variable in the Eastern Conference playoffs.



Washington begins its final 10 games Friday against the New Jersey Devils, sitting two points back of the Philadelphia Flyers for first place in the East.

Follow on Twitter: @mattsekeres

 

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