The Washington Times - May 2, 2012, 10:22AM

Bruce Boudreau once figured that Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom get broken up but eventually should always be put back together on a line. Dale Hunter hadn’t put the two cornerstones of the Washington Capitals’ franchise together this playoffs.

Until Wednesday, when Backstrom centered the top line at practice in preparation and likely will start there for Game 3 against the New York Rangers.


This is very likely a chance for Hunter, getting the last line change at home, to load up a trio: Ovechkin, Backstrom and Marcus Johansson. Ovechkin, who played a playoff career-low 13:36 in Game 2 at Madison Square Garden, could see 20+ minutes at Verizon Center.

Here are the rest of the lines and combinations:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Marcus Johansson

Jason Chimera - Brooks Laich - Alexander Semin

Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Troy Brouwer

Mike Knuble - Keith Aucoin - Joel Ward

Karl Alzner - John Carlson

Roman Hamrlik - Mike Green

Jeff Schultz - Dennis Wideman