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Varlamov to take over as Capitals starter for Game 3 against Montreal

Washington Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov (40), of Russia, comes in to replace starting goalie Jose Theodore (60) after Theodore gave up two goals to the Montreal Canadiens during the first period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey playoffs, Saturday, April 17, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

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Washington Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov (40), of Russia, comes in to replace starting goalie Jose Theodore (60) after Theodore gave up two goals to the Montreal Canadiens during the first period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey playoffs, Saturday, April 17, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

MONTREAL - Jose Theodore will not get his wish to start for the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre against his former team, the Montreal Canadiens.

The Capitals opted to go with 21-year-old Semyon Varlamov for Game 3 of their best-of-seven NHL Eastern Conference series against the Canadiens on Monday night.

Theodore, who started the first two games, was lifted in favour of Varlamov after allowing goals on his first two shots in Game 2 in Washington, which the Capitals came back to win 6-5 in overtime.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said the choice of the goaltender was made as a group by the coaching staff and general manager George McPhee. He did not offer reasons for the move.

In last year's playoffs, Varlamov took over from Theodore after one game and took them to Game 7 of the second round.

"Last year he stepped up for us and he won the series against the Rangers and he helped," Capitals star forward Alex Ovechkin said of Varlamov. "He's experienced. He knows how to play in the playoffs, so it's good."

Theodore won the Hart and Vezina trophies while tending goal for Montreal in 2002.

Meanwhile, Canadiens centre Glen Metropolit has been cleared by doctors to return from a shoulder injury suffered on March 27. Coach Jacques Martin said it would be a game-time decision whether Metropolit will play in Game 3.

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