Adam Oates made a few changes to his lines Wednesday, the day after the Washington Capitals lost 3-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The adjustment included Marcus Johansson earning a promotion to the top line with Nicklas Backstrom and Troy Brouwer.
Johansson had his first goal of the season on Tuesday night and got switched onto the first line alongside Mike Ribeiro and Alex Ovechkin against Toronto. Oates said he was looking for a “spark” from Johansson’s speed.
“It’s always fun to play with [Alex Ovechkin],” Johansson said. “But as I’ve always said, no matter what line your on on this team, it’s really good hockey players. And I’m gonna try to play the way I always play and right now I need to get better.”
Oates praised defenseman Tom Poti for his best game “by far,” so it won’t be surprising if the 35-year-old is in the lineup for the third straight game.
Defenseman Jack Hillen (upper body) and forward Brooks Laich (groin) skated before practice. The team has not given an indication of a timeline for either injured player.
The lines and pairings:
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer
Wojtek Wolski - Mike Ribeiro - Alex Ovechkin
Jason Chimera - Joey Crabb - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Eric Fehr / Mathieu Perreault
Karl Alzner - Mike Green
Tom Poti - John Carlson
Jeff Schultz - Tomas Kundratek