The Washington Times - April 30, 2012, 01:16PM

NEW YORK | The answer came just after 7 p.m. about how long Alexander Semin’s demotion to the fourth line would last. Not even until the start of Game 2.

Semin was back on the Washington Capitals’ second line for pregame warm-ups Monday night at Madison Square Garden, in his normal right wing spot along with Jason Chimera and Nicklas Backstrom. The Russian winger had been skating on the fourth line for the morning skate and Sunday’s practice.

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Semin took two stick penalties in Game 1 and was generally invisible.

“Alex, he’s not a guy – he’s not a rookie. He knows that he can’t take that penalty, can’t take that kind of penalty that he take in the first,” captain Alex Ovechkin said. “Of course, he takes a penalty, of course everybody thinks, ‘Jeez, why I have to do that?’ You feel bad for your penalty guys to kill the penalty while you sit on the benches. You’re like, ‘Please don’t score a goal.’ It’s not a good feeling.”

Hunter said Semin, who will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, is healthy.

As for what kind of improvement he wants out of Semin in Game 2, Hunter didn’t say much.

“He’ll go out and work hard,” the Caps’ coach said. “We need him to score goals for us and we need him to play good on the power play.”

Jeff Schultz is back in the lineup, replacing John Erskine.

Lines for game 2 vs. New York Rangers:

Marcus Johansson - Brooks Laich - Alex Ovechkin

Jason Chimera - Nicklas Backstrom - Alexander Semin

Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Troy Brouwer

Mike Knuble - Keith Aucoin - Joel Ward

D-pairings:

Karl Alzner - John Carlson

Roman Hamrlik - Mike Green

Jeff Schultz - Dennis Wideman