Varlamov replaces Theodore in goal
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau provided the first big bit of drama of the NHL playoffs Saturday, deciding to start 20-year-old rookie netminder Simeon Varlamov in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the New York Rangers.
Caps GM George McPhee confirmed to ESPN.com during warm-up that Varlamov was starting.
Boudreau had hinted strongly Friday that he would return to veteran Jose Theodore but in the true tradition of the NHL playoffs, that was obviously a piece of gamesmanship to keep the media and more importantly the Rangers in the dark.
Varlamov has all of 329 minutes of NHL experience under his belt, going 4-0-1 in six appearances this season, sporting a 2.37 goal-against-average and .918 save percentage -- excellent numbers.
Theodore gave up four goals on 21 shots in a 4-3 Game 1 loss Wednesday night and was largely blamed for blowing a game the Caps dominated.
Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.