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Capitals Notebook

Capitals Training Camp: Lines Change, Johansen, Leason, Protas Promoted



Capitals defenseman Lucas Johansen

ARLINGTON, V.A. — Head coach Peter Laviolette made it clear that the Washington Capitals lines were going to change over the course of camp as the team experiments with different combinations. And those tweaks came about on Saturday for the NHL-ready Group A.

Friday’s first look at lines saw a change to the top line, as Connor Brown shifted down and Anthony Mantha moved up to play alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin.

Then, after Connor McMichael started at center on the second line on Friday, he went to the wing Saturday. Strome shifted to pivot and reunited with old Erie teammate Brown on that line to boot.

Also, Conor Sheary was on the fourth line complementing Nic Dowd and Garnet Hathaway, as Carl Hagelin remains out indefinitely due to another injury, this time being a lower-body ailment.

However, Sheary moved up to the third line, as Marcus Johansson got his first look on that fourth line with Dowd and Hathaway. Laviolette mentioned on Friday that he likes Johansson’s two-way ability and attention to defense, while also having the ability to make things happen on offense at even strength and on the power play. Taking that into account, he put Johansson on that line to see how he would fare in that Hagelin role, and the combination looked solid.

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Finally, there were promotions, as Brett Leason, Aliaksei Protas and Lucas Johansen come up to the main group.

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Joe Snively, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby and Gabriel Carlsson are skating in Groups B and C on Saturday. It’s a good sign for Leason and Protas, who stood out in the scrimmage and got NHL looks last year. Plus, Johansen also gets his glance at the NHL lineup as he looks to finally make the full-time jump amid several blue line additions this offseason.

Here are what the lines looked like:

Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Anthony Mantha

Connor McMichael-Dylan Strome-Connor Brown

Conor Sheary-Lars Eller-T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway

Brett Leason/Aliaksei Protas

Martin Fehervary-John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen

Erik Gustafsson-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Matt Irwin-Lucas Johansen

Darcy Kuemper

Charlie Lindgren