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Wojtek Wolski Moved To First Line As Capitals Seek Offensive Spark
By ZAC BOYER | firstname.lastname@example.org
ARLINGTON – Wojtek Wolski replaced Marcus Johansson as the Washington Capitals’ top left wing at practice Thursday morning, with head coach Adam Oates hoping Wolski can join Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom in creating additional scoring opportunities.
That change will carry into Thursday night’s game against Montreal, with the Capitals hoping to break a two-game losing streak to start the season.
“I’ve been working hard,” said Wolski, who scored in the Capitals’ opener against Tampa Bay on Saturday. “I’ve been moving my feet. I’m getting up in the play and creating opportunities, turnovers. I think that’s going to give Nicky and Ovi an opportunity to get some scoring chances.”
Johansson, who had been the top-line left wing over the first two games, played only 10:30 of ice time in the 4-2 loss to Winnipeg on Tuesday.
Oates shuffled the lines in the third period against the Jets by moving Wolski from the second line to join Backstrom and Ovechkin, and he thought the trio played well enough to keep the experiment going.
Johansson was moved to the fourth line during the morning skate alongside Mathieu Perreault and Joey Crabb.
“He’s a young kid,” Oates said of Johansson. “He’s still learning the game. There’s little things – he’s a natural center, and we’ve got him on wing, so I’m sure some of his reads and his decisions are based on that. We just showed him a lot of video yesterday and just, you know, moved him today with Perry to see if he can get a little spark and you know, help him out.”
Oates moved Matt Hendricks from the fourth line to the second line to replace Wolski and kept the third line intact. The defensive pairings remained the same; Michal Neuvirth will earn his first start of the season against the Canadiens.
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