Marcus Johansson not taking the ice for warm-ups Sunday at Consol Energy Center against the Pittsburgh Penguins was a major surprise. The Washington Capitals center practiced Saturday and did not appear to be doing too badly.
But the Caps had to play without him, with Mathieu Perreault jumping onto the top line and finishing with two assists in the 5-3 overtime loss.
Johansson was back at practice Monday and reported no problems. “Feeling good,” he said.
Asked if it was just a 24-hour bug, Johansson brushed it off.
“Yeah, I got sick,” he said. “Not much good about it. It’s not fun missing a game.”
Johansson is expected to play Tuesday night against the Boston Bruins, skating as the left wing on the Caps’ top line alongside Perreault and Alexander Semin.
The Caps will be without Alex Ovechkin, who begins serving his three-game suspension Tuesday. Nicklas Backstrom will miss his 10th straight game with a concussion.
“Everybody needs to focus on still playing their own game and play the way they always play,” Johansson said. “Alex is obviously a big part of our offensive game and we have to find a way to score goals and all that anyways. And it’s going to be tough with both Nicky and Alex out.”