The Capitals continue to prepare for Saturday’s opening night vs. the Carolina Hurricanes from Verizon Center, but were without their Captain, Alex Ovechkin, as he left for Moscow yesterday due to the death of his uncle and is expected back Friday night to play in the game on Saturday.
Without Ovechkin, the lines during practice today were: Johansson-Backstrom-Knuble, Brouwer-Perreault-Semin, Chimera-Laich-Ward, King-Hendricks-Halpern-Beagle, Alzner-Carlson, Hamrlik-Green, Schultz-Wideman. John Erskine continues not to be cleared for contact.
Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said he thought yesterday was Marcus Johansson’s best practice, but won’t say he is the odd man out from the opening night line up. Also Boudreau said when talking about the lines, “I always think that Nicky [Backstrom] & Alex [Ovechkin] in the end are meant for each other, so to speak, they’ve played together for so long” and said Mike Knuble is the best early fit for that line. So it looks like the first line will be Ovechkin, Backstrom and Knuble.
The third and fourth lines also look to be set, with DJ King being the odd man out of the fourth line. The only question make will be who centers the second line with Troy Brouwer and Alexander Semin. It will come down to either Marcus Johansson or Mathieu Perreault.
Listen here to what Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau had to say today about line combinations, team coming together, Marcus Johansson and much more.
Bruce Boudreau Practice Audio
Also listen to what Marcus Johansson and Jeff Halpern had to say today as they prepare for opening night on Saturday.
Marcus Johansson Practice Audio
Jeff Halpern Practice Audio