WINNIPEG – Washington Capitals left wing Marcus Johansson left the team’s afternoon practice in Winnipeg early, and Coach Barry Trotz said he would be a game-time decision for Saturday’s contest against the Jets.
“He had a little tweak last night [against Montreal], and then he said it was just starting to get aggravated, so I just said, ‘Go off. We’ve got an extra forward,'” Trotz said. “It’ll be precautionary where he is. I think there’s a probability he’ll play tomorrow.”
Johansson has been the second-line left wing all season, and he also plays on the first power play unit, working the goal line and willing to be the net-front presence. The Capitals practiced their power play in Winnipeg after Johansson was excused from practice, and Andre Burakovsky took his role on the power play. Burakovsky was on the second power play earlier this season.
Stanislav Galiev skated in Johansson’s place on the second line, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how Washington’s lineup will look if Johansson misses the game. The Capitals have two extra forwards in Galiev and Chris Brown.
A restricted free agent at the end of last season, Johansson and the Capitals went to arbitration, which resulted in a one-year contract worth $3.75 million. The 25-year-old Swede will return to restricted free agency after this season, when the arbitration process could begin anew, or he could sign a longer deal with Washington before then.
Johansson’s first season under Trotz was his most productive, as he played all 82 games for the first time, reached a career-high 20 goals and added 27 assists. This season, he has five goals and eight assists, and he’s fourth on the team in even strength points per 60 minutes with 1.94.