Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie Return To Top Line, Marcus Johansson Dropped To Third Line: News From Capitals Monday Practice

The Washington Capitals returned to work Monday afternoon following their 5-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild Sunday night at Capital One Arena. Next up on the schedule is the Tampa Bay Lightning, who come to town on Wednesday.

Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette continued to shake up the lines on Monday. T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov returned to the top line with Nicklas Backstrom dropping back down to center the second line. Marcus Johansson was dropped to left-wing on the third line.

It appears that Connor McMichael continues to be the odd man (forward) out. McMichael and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby cycled into the rushes as extras at Monday’s practice. Michal Kempny and Matt Irwin were the extra defensemen.

Hathaway To Score

After already setting a career-high for points earlier this season, Garnet Hathaway scored his 11th goal of the year last night against the Minnesota Wild, tying his career-high set in the 2018-19 season as a member of the Calgary Flames. This season, Hathaway is one of 26 forwards in the NHL to average less than 14 minutes of ice time per game and record at least 22 points.

With Hathaway on the ice at five-on-five, the Capitals are outscoring opponents 32-15. Hathaway has the highest goals-for percentage on the team (68.09%) and the fourth-highest percentage among all forwards in the NHL with at least 750 minutes played this season. Hathaway also ranks ninth in the NHL this season with a career-high 212 hits.

The Captain

Alex Ovechkin had the primary assist on Hathaway’s goal, which marked his 1,399th career point, moving him past NHL great Jari Kurri for 21st in NHL history in Points.

In addition, Ovechkin played in his 1,264th game in the National Hockey League, passing defenseman Scott Niedermayer and forward Bill Guerin, who played in 1,263 games each. Ovechkin is now ranked 81st in league history in terms of games played, tied with Justin Williams.

Nic Dowd

Nic Dowd met with the media following today’s practice. He spoke about returning to the lineup last night after being out with an injury.

Johan Larsson

Larsson met with the media following today’s practice. He spoke about his first game back since undergoing sports hernia surgery in January.


The Capitals will hold practice again Tuesday morning at 11:00 AM at MedStar Capitals Iceplex and then hold a morning skate on Wednesday. The Capitals and Lightning face off Wednesday night with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 PM.

The Capitals will then play a pair of weekend matinees beginning with a visit to Pittsburgh on Saturday (3:00 PM) and then returning to host the Boston Bruins (1:30 PM) on Sunday.

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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6 Responses to Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie Return To Top Line, Marcus Johansson Dropped To Third Line: News From Capitals Monday Practice

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is a little better. Would like to see C-Mac plugged back in.

  2. DWGie26 says:

    Lavi doing his best to find that top line magic! Larsson needs a few games to fit in and coming off injury, but i am hopeful on him. I’ve had enough of Mojo. Several games in and no points, and no value added. We’ll see if Lavi will be true to his word on having a short leash for those not performing and Mojo is top of that list.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Yep, Larsson needs games and MoJo better start producing soon. I think the leash will be short for him heading into the playoffs, only because they have other solutions. I think dropping mojo down to the third line might actually work better for him, and is definitely a good move for the Capitals as a whole.

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