Coach Bruce Boudreau moved Alex Ovechkin to a line with Marcus Johansson and Matt Bradley in the middle of Monday night's 5-0 loss to New Jersey when the game was already out of hand in the Devils' favor. Meanwhile, his linemates Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin played with Matt Hendricks for a brief time.
Ovechkin has not scored in four games and has just two goals in the past 11 contests and over the past three games Backstrom and Semin have just one goal a piece.
Boudreau said his decision to play Ovechkin, who said he expects change when the team is playing poorly, elsewhere wasn't a demotion but an attempt to spark some offense.
"I just didn't like the way that first line was going at all," Boudreau said. "So I mean, I had to break them up. They were not working. Outside of sitting all three of them....What you're hoping for is that if they get a goal all of the sudden it might turn it around for those guys because they're struggling."
AROUND THE WEB
Scott Burnside on the changing perception of Alexander Semin. (ESPN)
The Caps' ups and downs from the past week. (Japers' Rink)
As the title of the post on RMNB says, three and a half minutes of Alex Ovechkin dancing. (RMNB)
I'm en route to Raleigh and will have updates from RBC Center, where the Capitals are scheduled to practice at 1 p.m. this afternoon.