The experiment of Alex Ovechkin playing on a line with Jay Beagle and Joey Crabb is over for the Washington Capitals, at least for the start of Friday night’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Coach Adam Oates changed things up after Thursday’s 3-2 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs, sticking with the lines that had some offensive pressure in the final minutes. That meant Alex Ovechkin with Wojtek Wolski and Mike Ribeiro. Some would say it’s about time Ovechkin and Ribeiro played together, and it could be magic if the 32-year-old center’s playmaking ways continue.
Ovechkin played the past four games back at left wing. But Wolski is a natural left wing, so the captain is back on the right side.
On the Flyers’ side, Claude Giroux has new linemates in Wayne Simmonds and Danny Briere. Ex-Caps right wing Mike Knuble will start alongside Tye McGinn and Brayden Schenn.
Braden Holtby starts in goal for the first time since Jan. 22. Ilya Bryzgalov is in net for the Flyers.
Here are the Caps’ lines:
Wojtek Wolski - Mike Ribeiro - Alex Ovechkin
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Joey Crabb - Eric Fehr
Karl Alzner - Mike Green
John Erskine - John Carlson
Jeff Schultz - Tomas Kundratek