Halak to start opener for Canadiens

Updated: April 15, 2010, 1:10 PM ET
Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals goaltender Jose Theodore was set to start in Game 1 against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night despite getting hit in the knee by a puck in practice.

Theodore was in good spirits and said his knee was fine after taking part in Thursday's morning skate before the evening's playoff opener. He left practice early Wednesday after getting struck by a shot from Dave Steckel.

Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom also will be able to play Thursday despite an illness that kept him in bed for much of two days. He sniffled while talking to reporters and said he would take a nap before the game.

"I know Nicky's going to play and Theo's going to play," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said.

After the Canadiens took their morning skate, coach Jacques Martin confirmed that, as expected, goaltender Jaroslav Halak would start Game 1 over Carey Price.

Price played in all four regular-season games between Montreal and Washington, with Halak not seeing action in any, but Martin said that wouldn't favor either team Thursday.

"I don't think that's a factor," Martin said. "I believe in both our goaltenders, and it just fell that way, that Carey played all four games against this hockey team. Jaro, in the end, played really well for our team."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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