BALLSTON, Va. - The Washington Capitals had their first morning skate of the season Saturday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and the lines looked more or less the same as they have over the last week:
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Mike Knuble
Alexander Semin - Mathieu Perreault - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Brooks Laich - Joel Ward
Matt Hendricks - Marcus Johansson - Jay Beagle
Though Johansson was skating with the fourth line Saturday morning, he was only doing it to replace Jeff Halpern, who missed the skate to observe Yom Kippur. With that said, Johansson stayed on the ice with D.J. King, John Erskine and Tomas Vokoun, signifying that he will indeed be a healthy scratch against the Carolina Hurricanes.
"It puts a little bit more pressure on you," Perreault said on starting Saturday. "I feel like tonight I've got to be really good if I'm going to be in the next game. Every game is going to be like that...If [head coach Bruce Boudreau] wants to reward the player that's been good, I'm happy that he's putting me on the ice."
Boudreau reiterated his point that Perreault was the best player throughout training camp and that the preseason doesn't mean anything if he doesn't reward players for playing well. Boudreau also said that Johansson's scratch is not an indictment of his play.
"I think Marcus can give more, but he's going to be a huge part of our team," Boudreau said. "If he plays 81 games, he plays 81 games. It's a long season, but right now, Methieu's in tonight."
On the defensive end, Dennis Wideman took his option and did not skate Saturday, but Boudreau said that he is fine and will play against the Hurricanes.