Photo: Dave Reginek
Friday night’s win over Detroit Red Wings was made possible by a late-game Alex Ovechkin goal assisted by Marcus Johansson. Johansson hadn’t been on the top line since November 1st in Philadelphia, when Alex Ovechkin missed games due to an upper-body injury. When Ovechkin returned on the 5th, Martin Erat had taken Mojo’s spot on the top line, and Marcus centered Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer on the second. That formulation yielded good possession for the top line, but garbage for the second and goals for pretty much no one (I recommend Kevin Klein’s article on this topic over at Japers’ Rink).
Coach Adam Oates tweaked his lines late in the game on Friday to much success, and it looks like those changes will stick. Per The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera, here’s how lines look on Saturday morning:
Marcus Johansson – Nick Backstrom – Alex Ovechkin
Martin Erat – Brooks Laich – Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera – Mikhail Grabovski – Joel Ward
Aaron Volpatti – Michael Latta – Tom Wilson
- Johansson is back at left wing on the top line. You probably already know what I think, so I wanna know your thoughts.
- Despite Michael Latta scoring the tying goal (his career first) while centering Chimera and Ward, the third line is unchanged.
- That shouldn’t surprise us– the Chimera-Grabo-Ward line shall remain unmolested until they stop spawning goals like fish eggs.
- Brooks Laich has shifted from left wing back to second line center, which is where we thought he’d be until McPhee signed Grabo.
- The fourth line has been stout (though they were in their own end a lot on Friday), and they too remain unchanged.