BALLSTON, Va. - The Washington Capitals returned to Kettler Capitals Iceplex Monday after a three-game road trip ended in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday. The season series with the Penguins is over, but the Caps prepared for their first of four meetings with the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins Tuesday at Verizon Center.
Washington's forward lines had a new look once again with the most notable difference being the first line, which consisted of four players: Alex Ovechkin, Mathieu Perreault, Alexander Semin and Marcus Johansson.
Ovechkin - Johansson - Perreault - Semin
Matt Hendricks - Brooks Laich - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Jeff Halpern - Mike Knuble
Jay Beagle - Cody Eakin - Joel Ward
Johansson missed Sunday's game with an illness, but fully practiced Monday. Perhaps a top line of Perreault, Johansson and Semin is a "Plan B" of sorts in case the league decides to suspend Ovechkin for his hit on Zbynek Michalek Sunday.
Meanwhile, Nicklas Backstrom skated for about five minutes before practice sans equipment. Backstrom has been out of the lineup since suffering a head injury January 3 when former Calgary Flames/current Montreal Canadiens forward Rene Bourque caught him with a high elbow. It was the first time Backstrom skated since January 6, according to a team spokesman.