It turns out the top line configuration Coach Bruce Boudreau is eager to get a look at features Troy Brouwer on the right wing with Alex Ovechkin.
Boudreau also said that Marcus Johansson may be centering for Ovechkin again Monday night at home against Columbus, and that the only reason the second-year didn’t skate there on Sunday was that he wasn’t sure if Johansson, who had been sick, would practice.
Nicklas Backstrom skated between Ovechkin and Brouwer for every drill of the practice session Sunday.
“Well, Backstrom was up there more because Marcus wasn’t scheduled to practice. I didn’t know if he was going to be sick or not,” Boudreau said. “So you might see them switch tomorrow but the Brouwer, Ovi combination was more of what we were hoping to see.”
Boudreau watched Brouwer play quite often in the AHL, when the winger played in Norfolk and Rockford, and seeing if he could be a fit on a line with Ovechkin is something Boudreau has considered since the Capitals traded for his rights at the draft.
“It was something you [envision] when you’re doing that,” Boudreau said. “Mike [Knuble] has done a great job — he might still be the guy that’s there — but, I mean, you get new guys. You want to get excited and see what they do in that position.”
*Brooks Laich left the ice halfway through Sunday’s practice after feeling “tight”, Boudreau said. The Capitals are playing it safe with everyone, who is even remotely uncomfortable on the ice in the preseason and that’s why Jason Chimera didn’t skate again today.
“It’s like I’ve said with everybody, if you’re not feeling 100 percent in the preseason we’re not going to force you,” Boudreau explained. “We don’t want to put something into a three week injury right now, so I said ‘Get off the ice.’”
*John Erskine, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, continues to wear the orange no-contact sweater during practice. The defenseman didn’t sound hopeful that he would be ready to appear in any of the four remaining preseason games.
*The Capitals did some power play work during practice, the first group featuring Ovechkin, Backstrom and Brouwer with Wideman and Hamrlik on the points while the second had Knuble, Johansson and Alexander Semin with Mike Green and Dmitry Orlov on the points.
Asked about Orlov’s placement with the NHL regulars on the power play unit, Boudreau said: “In the rookie camp he was the guy that handled the puck and he has a really good shot, we wanted to see how he would fare with the big boys.”