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Posted at 11:32 AM ET, 01/15/2011

Marcus Johansson's steady improvement and Capitals' latest practice lines

Friday night in the Capitals' 4-2 loss to Vancouver, rookie center Marcus Johansson recorded his fifth point in six games while playing a season high 17 minutes and 30 seconds against team atop the NHL standings.

Johansson played more than six minutes in the third period and was out as the Capitals pulled Semyon Varlamov to gain an extra attacker in an effort to complete a comeback, responsibility that represents how well he has been playing over the last few weeks and the coaching staff's growing trust in the young Swede.

"I feel a lot more confident," Johansson said. "You get a little more confident, you do things with the puck that you don't do if you're not confident and it gets you going even more. It's been going a lot better now the last 10 games."

As the Capitals struggled to create offensive opportunities against the Canuck, a few players, including Johansson, were able to spark chances and helped Washington mount a comeback. He finished the contest with three shots -- all on net.

"We got the puck deep and we worked harder," Johansson said of the late-game success. "When we got the puck deep, we got it back and we got it to the net; that was the difference. We got them tired and that's a good way to play from the beginning."

From the Capitals' Saturday practice at KCI:
--All except the injured Eric Fehr, Tom Poti and Alexander Semin are skating. The lines and defensive pairings are as follows:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Laich-Johansson-Hendricks
Chimera-Perreault-Beagle
King-Steckel-Gordon

Schultz-Green
Alzner-Carlson
Erskine-Hannan

By  |  11:32 AM ET, 01/15/2011

Categories:  Marcus Johansson

 
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