NEWARK, N.J. | After three losses to open the season, the Washington Capitals’ lineup will have a very different look for Friday night’s game at the New Jersey Devils. Most notably Alex Ovechkin being joined on the first line by grinders Jay Beagle and Joey Crabb.
Coach Adam Oates isn’t messing around after an 0-3 start, clearly rewarding Beagle and Crabb for effort. Ovechkin is back to left wing.
Three new players are also in the lineup at the Devils who didn’t play Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens.
Right wing Eric Fehr and defensemen Jeff Schultz and John Erskine are in, replacing center Mathieu Perreault and defensemen Tom Poti and Roman Hamrlik.
Michal Neuvirth will get his second straight start in the latter half of this back-to-back.
“He played really well [Thursday] night and I felt bad for him that we let it get away,” Oates said. “He really gave us a chance in the first 30 minutes and he looked very sharp so he gets it tonight.
Here are the lines and pairings:
Alex Ovechkin - Jay Beagle - Joey Crabb
Wojtek Wolski - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Mike Ribeiro - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Marcus Johansson - Eric Fehr
Karl Alzner - Mike Green
John Erskine - John Carlson
Jeff Schultz - Tomas Kundratek