WASHINGTON - The Washington Capitals replaced rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov with veteran Jose Theodore after falling behind 4-0 in the second period Wednesday night in their 6-2 Game 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Varlamov, who had anchored the Capitals in net for the previous 12 games, allowed goals on back-to-back shots in both the first and second periods. He faced only 18 shots before he was removed at 2:13 of the second.
"After the third goal I was thinking of pulling him because he looked really dejected," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Maybe I should have called a timeout at that point.
"But, after the fourth goal, I think the wind completely came out of his sails emotionally.
"He's been holding us in and done so much since he took over, and I just thought it poured out of him. That's why I made the change then, and I maybe should have made it one game sooner."
Theodore allowed two more goals as the Penguins won to advance to the Eastern Conference finals.
The 21-year-old Varlamov had become a playoff sensation, posting two shutouts and 2.28 goals against average before Wednesday.
He had only played in six career regular-season games before replacing Theodore following a Game 1 loss to the New York Rangers in the first round.