varlamov_simeon_0809headWashington Capitals rookie goaltender Simeon Varlamov said it was his “dream since childhood” to get into an NHL playoff game. Well, he probably didn’t dream up his postseason debut the way it went, as he replaced Jose Theodore for Game 2 of the Caps’ Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the New York Rangers but couldn’t change Washington’s fortunes yesterday.

The Caps lost, 1-0, to fall behind two games to none in the best-of-seven series. Tarik El-Bashir has the complete story in the Washington Post. Also in The Post, Barry Svrluga has more on Varlamov.

MK: He was the coach of the year last season, but I think Bruce Boudreau blew this one. I know it was only 1-0, but I don’t think benching the veteran goaltender after just one bad playoff game sends the right message to the team. I’m not a Theodore guy, but Boudreau claimed Theodore was his ‘guy.’ I’d hate to see how he handles players that aren’t his ‘guys.’

Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference:

•Rangers coach John Tortorella thinks his team is starting to play the way he wants.

•Somebody give Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timomen a tissue. Here’s what he had to say yesterday: “You see Crosby and these guys going to the refs and talking to them. It looks like they talk to them back, and when we go talk to them, they yell at us. It’s a little bit of a difference, but that’s something I don’t really care (about). We can control how we play, and, hopefully, we’ll get a couple of breaks, too.” (Let me get this, he doesn’t care about it, but he brought it up, right?)

Sergei Gonchar has been a difference-maker for Pittsburgh from the back line.

Luke DeCock of the News & Observer says Eric Staal takes after Ron Francis.

•New Jersey’s John Madden and Carolina’s Tuomo Ruutu are battling one another.