The Washington Times - January 10, 2009, 11:43AM

Brent Johnson will start tonight for the Washington Capitals against the Montreal Canadiens. Bruce Boudreau said it is Johnson’s turn and he wants to keep everyone fresh.

This is true, but this also means that Jose Theodore’s first game back in Montreal since the eight-goal shelling could be Game 1 or Game 3 of a playoff series this Spring. That might be a distraction the Caps will wish they didn’t have to deal with.

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Sergei Fedorov (ankle) and Boyd Gordon (back) are out as expected. Boudreau said the plan was to rest Fedorov, but his ankle didn’t feel great after the game either.

John Erskine made the trip, but Boudreau said it was just to get in another skate. Erskine said yesterday that he is shooting for a Tuesday return — Boudreau said sometime this week.

Boudreau was asked about the winner-take-all war tonight between him and Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau. The winner gets the assistant coach spot for the Eastern Conference all-star team. The loser does not. Boudreau said he isn’t thinking about it.

Alex Ovechkin, for what it’s worth, said he knows that Boudreau’s trip to Montreal is at stake.

Eric Fehr and Michael Nylander will replace Fedorov and Gordon in the lineup toinght. Here’s a purely speculative guess at the lines:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov

Fleischmann-Nylander-Semin

Fehr-Laich-Clark

Brashear-Steckel-Bradley

Alzner-Jurcina

Sloan-Green

Morrisonn-Collins

We’ll have real lines at some point later tonight.