BALLSTON, Va. - Marcus Johansson was a healthy scratch for the Washington Capitals during Saturday's 4-3 season-opening overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes and was none too pleased about it.
"I'm here to play hockey because I love hockey and I want to play as much as I can," Johansson said. "I want to play every day. It's never fun to sit and watch a team play whether you're hurt or scratched. It was not fun at all, but I guess that's the process of becoming a better hockey player."
For Johansson. however, it seems that he will make his season debut against the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday as he was practicing with the second line during morning skate. Mathieu Perreault, who started in Johansson's place Saturday, was working on the fourth line as an extra forward. Despite the switch, it is uncertain who will have to sit out to make room for Johansson.
"Yeah I know," Johansson said in regards to his playing status. "I don't know if I'm supposed to say. You'll have to ask [head coach] Bruce [Boudreau] about that."
Boudreau was a bit more clear, insinuating that Johansson will indeed return to the lineup Monday, but details were murky after that.
"I'm probably going to put Marcus in and take somebody out," Boudreau said.
The other lines remained the same from Saturday with Brooks Laich centering Jason Chimera and Joel Ward and Jeff Halpern working with Matt Hendricks and Jay Beagle. The only player not on the ice Monday was Alex Ovechkin, who decided not to participate. Morning skates are optional.