Wolski joins top line, Johansson to fourth line (updated)

(Greg Fiume/Getty) (Greg Fiume/Getty)

Coach Adam Oates was coy Wednesday when asked if he intended to alter his line combinations for Thursday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, but from the looks of the morning skate there will certainly be some changes.

Wojtek Wolski, who recorded a goal in the season opener against Tampa Bay, has been promoted to the top line left wing, with Alex Ovechkin on the right side and Nicklas Backstrom at center.

“I think I’m working hard, I’m moving my feet,” Wolski said. “I’m getting up in the play and creating opportunities, turnovers. I think that’s going to give Nicky and Ovi the opportunity to get some scoring chances.”

Said Ovechkin: “Just more creativity, I think. He’s a skilled guy who can control the puck…We’ll see how it works.”

Meanwhile, Marcus Johansson has been demoted to the fourth line. It’s not a surprising, move given that the Swedish center has been ineffective on the top line and was benched for all but 50 seconds of the third period of the 4-2 loss to Winnipeg Tuesday.

Matt Hendricks, who was the Capitals’ best player on the ice against the Jets earlier this week, has shifted to second line left wing alongside Mike Ribeiro and Troy Brouwer.

Here are what the lines should look like:

Wolski-Backstrom-Ovechkin

Hendricks-Ribeiro-Brouwer

Chimera-Beagle-Ward

Johansson-Perreault-Crabb

Defense:

Alzner-Carlson

Poti-Green

Hamrlik-Kundratek

Goal: Neuvirth, Holtby

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Katie Carrera · January 23, 2013