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Boudreau’s assistant coaches _ Dean Evason, Bob Woods and Blaine Forsythe _ will remain in their posts under Hunter.

McPhee said he began talking to Hunter a week ago about the possibility of returning to the Capitals. On Monday morning at 6:15 a.m., McPhee met with Boudreau and delivered the news. Now the team hopes its play will improve.

“Sometimes it’s like having the same teacher for five years. How would you have liked to do that in high school? It’s hard sometimes,” McPhee said. “So you make the change and hope that a new voice and a new way of doing things and a new focus gets the best out of these players.”

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AP Sports Writer Joseph White contributed to this report.