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At the Rink blog

Johansson moved up to Capitals' top line

Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 2:12 PM

By Ben Raby - NHL.com Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Johansson moved up to Capitals' top line

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Marcus Johansson is the latest to play as the top-line left wing for the Washington Capitals after returning to the lineup in a 4-1 loss Sunday against the New York Rangers.

Prior to that, Johansson missed 12 games with a concussion while Jason Chimera, Wojtek Wolski and Matt Hendricks all saw time on the top unit.

"I really saw some energy and skating and being a bit of a hound on the puck and making good decisions," Capitals coach Adam Oates said of Johansson's game Sunday. "Maybe that hit in training camp [in which he collided with Ovechkin in a scrimmage] did hurt him where he was trying to fight through it and didn't have the pace I saw the other night. I really thought he was solid."

In his first nine games this season, Johansson was limited to one goal and a team-worst minus-7 rating. In his return Sunday, the 22-year-old had an assist and saw time on both special teams units.

On the blueline, the Capitals are without veterans John Erskine and Tom Poti due to upper-body injuries which opens the door for prospect Cameron Schilling, called up from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Tuesday, to make his NHL debut.

"Obviously, it's a dream come true to come up here to the NHL and get a game in, so I'm just going try to enjoy it as much as I can, but stay focused and try to play my game," Schilling said.

The Capitals signed Schilling last spring after his senior season at Miami University, and the 24-year-old has six goals and 14 points in 54 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League this season.

Schilling is expected to be paired with rookie Steve Oleksy, who made his NHL debut a week ago. Rookie Tomas Kundratek also began the season in Hershey, but has been used as a top-four defenseman with the Capitals for much of the season.

"It's interesting," Schilling said. "There's a lot of Hershey guys here, but obviously with a shortened season, there might be more injury problems, so that was somewhat expected coming into it. But yeah, it's nice to have everyone here."

Here is the lineup the Capitals could use Tuesday against the Hurricanes:

Marcus Johansson - Mike Ribeiro - Alex Ovechkin

Eric Fehr - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera - Matt Hendricks - Joel Ward

Wojtek Wolski - Mathieu Perreault - Jay Beagle

Karl Alzner - Tomas Kundratek

Jeff Schultz - John Carlson

Cameron Schilling - Steven Oleksy

Braden Holtby

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Joey Crabb, Aaron Volpatti

Injured: John Erskine (upper body), Tom Poti (upper body), Brooks Laich (groin), Mike Green (groin), Jack Hillen (upper body)

Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential