Following a victory, Dale Hunter usually doesn’t like to change his lines up. But he made a small change Friday morning in dropping Alexander Semin to the fourth line.
The top trio of Marcus Johansson, Brooks Laich and Alex Ovechkin remained the same, as did the third line of Matt Hendricks, Jay Beagle and Troy Brouwer, which did a good job of marking Eric Staal and Steven Stamkos the past two games.
Keith Aucoin skated on the right wing of the second line with Jason Chimera and Mathieu Perreault. Semin was in a white fourth-line jersey along with Mike Knuble, Jeff Halpern and Joel Ward.
With 13 healthy forwards on the roster, either Semin could start Saturday’s game at the Boston Bruins on the fourth line or potentially a healthy scratch. That remains to be seen.
Hunter said he was just going for a different look but brought up a missed opportunity when asked about Semin.
“He had a chance in overtime – a great chance – and we need him to score. We need him to put up numbers and play good defensively,” Hunter said. “You can’t turn pucks over against these teams like Tampa Bay that play that style. You’ve got to chip and chase. You want to dangle guys and it looks good on TSN, but you turn pucks over, it’ll cost you games.”
He did not bite on a suggestion that it was a reward for Aucoin.
“I was just trying different line combinations,” Hunter said.