In an apparent effort to jumpstart Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin, Coach Dale Hunter reunited the struggling wingers on a line with center Nicklas Backstrom.
Hunter, however, would not say whether they’ll play together when the Capitals face Ottawa at Scotiabank Place on Wednesday.
Ovechkin has one goal in his past 12 games and eight total, putting him on pace for a career-low 25. Semin, who missed the past two games with a minor shoulder injury, has five goals in 23 games.
Backstrom, meantime, has been the Capitals’ best forward this season with nine goals and 18 assists, which is tied for sixth most in the NHL.
They haven’t been a full-time line this season, though they’ve seen some shifts together. Former Coach Bruce Boudreau liked to use them together when the offense was in need of a jolt. But the trio rarely stayed together long because of the line's tendency to over-pass and struggle in the defensive zone.
“We’ve played together before and when we do the right things, we’re good together,” Backstrom said after a light, hour-long practice in South Florida. “Hopefully we’ll be successful.”
Semin, who has sat out the last two games, said he met with Hunter this morning and will return to the lineup tomorrow. Hunter, though, declined to elaborate on what was discussed.
The top line wasn’t all that had a different look.
Troy Brouwer skated on a line with Marcus Johansson and Jeff Halpern; Jason Chimera remained with Brooks Laich and Joel Ward; and Cody Eakin skated with Mathieu Perreault and Mike Knuble.
“Just practice, scrambling the lines around, you never where they end up, though,” Hunter said. “I don’t know how the lines are going to fall. Just threw them in there, scramble ‘em up a bit and see what happens tomorrow.”
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