The Washington Post

Marcus Johansson settling in at center

(Kathy Willens/Associated Press)

It’d been a while since Marcus Johansson had lit the lamp in an NHL game that counted before he scored against the Islanders Tuesday night. Six months and three days had passed since Johansson’s goal in game one of the Capitals’ playoff loss to the Rangers.

“Not really,” Johansson said, when asked if it was weighing on him. “It’s always nice to get out of the way, but it’s not something you really think about. As long as you kind of create chances, I think it’s going to come at some point.”

As Coach Adam Oates has grappled with his lines early in the season, Johansson’s had to grapple with a changing role, shifting from the wing to center when Alex Ovechkin got hurt last week.

“I think I’ve always been more of a passer than a scorer, but I just think you take it as it comes. As a center, I think you do pass a little more,” Johansson said. “I think there’s a little more responsibility [at center]. It’s a little different defensively, I think. So there’s some adjustments you have to make. Last game was better than the first two games, so it just takes a little time.”

Johansson will be back in the middle of Brooks Laich and Troy Brouwer tonight against the Wild, as Oates will stick with the same lines he used in Tuesday’s 6-2 outburst against the Islanders.

Projected Lineups vs. Wild
Erat — Backstrom — Ovechkin
Laich — Johansson — Brouwer
Chimera — Grabovski — Ward
Volpatti — Latta — Wilson

Schmidt — Green
Urbom — Olesky


Chelsea Janes covers the Nationals for The Washington Post.



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Chelsea Janes · November 7, 2013