The Washington Times - November 23, 2011, 01:44PM

Alexander Semin took his seat at Verizon Center on Monday night, a healthy scratch for the first time since his rookie year. Wednesday night, his seat will be on the bench and his name in the Capitals’ lineup against the Winnipeg.

Bruce Boudreau knows exactly what to expect out of the Russian winger after a one-game absence.


“I expect him to be a good player tonight,” the Caps’ coach said.

Two of Semin’s fellow “Young Guns,” Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, reacted Wednesday to the move as Caps leaders.

“I think what happened, what happened. What he can do? He just have to working harder, I think,” Ovechkin said. “He knows it, and everybody knows. He’s one of the leaders of the team and if this situation happen, it have to be probably a wake-up call.”

Ovechkin was able to describe his mood and how he supported his friend and teammate.

“Of course he was upset. I just tell him, nothing I can do. He’s a big boy, and he’s not small, little kid. Like he’s not going to cry,” Ovechkin said. “I just tell him, don’t think about it, and it’s going to be hard. Of course it’s hard when you’re healthy and you feel pretty good about yourself and you’re not playing. It’s pretty hard moment. But it’s done.”

Backstrom was encouraged by Semin’s upbeat response to the benching.

“I think he’s been taking it good. He’s happy, smiling,” Backstrom said. “I think that’s how he has to take it. You’ve got to stay positive.”