Marcus Johansson wasn’t happy. He got the message when he was a healthy scratch and earned a spot back in the Capitals lineup Monday night.
Then he reminded coach Bruce Boudreau why he should have never left. There was a purpose in Johansson’s swift strides and he was almost indisputably the best player on the ice for the first two periods.
Johansson scored the Caps’ first goal almost singlehandedly. He shot the puck wide of the net, poked it away from sprawling Lightning goalie Dwayne Roloson and went around the net to tuck a wraparound shot in.
Later on, he skated into the Tampa Bay zone with three defenders on him and managed to muscle his way through without losing the puck. By the time 40 minutes had passed, the occasions where Johansson dominated the Lightning defense were too many to count. He even managed to draw a penalty with some hustle midway through the second period.
He had a scary moment on the play in which the Caps tied the score at 3-3, when Ryan Malone appeared to cross-check him to the head. He was down while teammates celebrated and immediately went down the tunnel but soon after returned to the bench and was on the ice for a power play a couple minutes later.