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Posted at 12:20 PM ET, 04/20/2012

Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom reunited on top line during Capitals practice

The day after their 2-1 win in Game 4, the Capitals at Friday’s practice
(Jonathan Newton - WASHINGTON POST)
used new line combinations not yet seen in the postseason. One reunites Alex Ovechkin with Nicklas Backstrom.

While it’s unknown whether Coach Dale Hunter will use these units in Game 5 on Sunday in Boston, they offer a different balance than what he’s used so far against the Bruins.

Here are the lines:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Laich
Johansson-Aucoin-Semin
Hendricks-Beagle-Knuble
Chimera-Perreault-Brouwer
Halpern, Ward, Sjogren skated as extras

— Based on those combinations, it looks like Mike Knuble may remain in the lineup for Game 5 while Joel Ward will come out to make room for Backstrom, now that he’s served his one-game suspension for cross checking Rich Peverley in the face.

— Update: After practice, Neuvirth confirmed that he will be able to backup Braden Holtby for Game 5 in Boston.

“Obviously it’s good to be back,” Neuvirth said. “Sabby got to play down there [in Hershey], and that’s why I’ll be the backup.”

The 24-year-old Czech acknowledged that he’s not completely healthy, though.

“Obviously you need a lot of painkillers and try to get through the pain. That’s what I’m trying to do,” Neuvirth said. “It’s not going to be 100 percent. This thing’s got to heal up over the summer, and it is what it is.”

Washington reassigned goaltender Dany Sabourin to the AHL’s Hershey Bears Friday morning, which seems to indicates that Michal Neuvirth, who suffered an injury to his left leg on April 5 against Florida, will be ready to back up this weekend.

If Neuvirth’s not ready, though, Sabourin could always rejoin the Capitals in Boston on Saturday. The Calder Cup playoffs begin for the Bears with back-to-back contests Friday and Saturday at Wilkes-Barre Scranton.

More on the Caps:
Feinstein: Bruins where Caps want them
Erksine made an impact
Hamilton: Holtby proves himself
Caps-Bruins shot chart
Caps win Game 4

By  |  12:20 PM ET, 04/20/2012

 
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