-- Alex Semin was an effective player for the Capitals during their first-round, seven-game series win against the Boston Bruins
. He had three goals in the series and was showing a commitment to the defensive side of the game.
Semin was out of sorts Saturday during the Capitals' 3-1 loss to the Rangers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series, however. He took two penalties, one of which was a retaliatory penalty after he was hit by Rangers captain Ryan Callahan
that negated a power play, had zero points and was on the ice for Chris Kreider
's game-winning goal in the third period.
On Sunday, Semin found himself demoted to the fourth line with Mike Knuble
and Keith Aucoin
at practice. Coach Dale Hunter
said he was not sending a message with the move and defended his player's penalties.
"No, just mixing the lines up," Hunter said. "The one, he went for the puck and he hit a skate. The other one, both of them should've went. It was a cross check. If you watch the replay, the guy cross checked him first. But you can't retaliate. You just can't retaliate. The ref, he called one. He could've easily called two. But that's the way it goes."
Semin nearly scored during a second-period power play, but his wrist shot deflected off the arm of Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist
and the crossbar. Hunter said he expects Semin to continue to have an impact on the power play.
Defenseman Jeff Schultz
, a healthy scratch for Game 1, was back with Dennis Wideman
at practice with John Erskine
out of the top-six mix.
Here are the rest of the line combinations from practice, none of which are guaranteed to hold during Game 2 of the series Monday night.
- Brooks Laich
- Troy Brouwer
- Nicklas Backstrom
- Marcus Johansson
- Jay Beagle
- Joel Ward
- Keith Aucoin
- Alexander Semin
- John Carlson
- Mike Green
- Dennis Wideman
Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo