After playing the past two games among the top six forwards, it appears Marcus Johansson will be a healthy scratch tonight when the Capitals host the Florida Panthers at Verizon Center.
Johansson, who recorded his first goal of the season on Feb. 5 against Toronto, has been inconsistent this season regardless of the line he’s skating on. He started the year on the top unit, was demoted to the fourth line, sat a healthy scratch for two games and then was inserted back on the third before rising to the top six again last week.
Coach Adam Oates made it clear that he wasn’t pleased with Johansson’s performance in Washington’s 5-2 loss to the Penguins Thursday.
“We need more execution,” Oates said. “I think his confidence might be one of the problems about the play. We need more execution and didn’t get enough in Pittsburgh.”
Meanwhile, Mathieu Perreault will be making his return to the lineup after sitting for five games as a healthy scratch. The fleet-footed forward is eager to get back in the mix and make an impact in his first game since Jan. 29 against Ottawa.
“I want to do what I’ve always done when I was getting called up or been sitting out for a while. I would always come out and be flying and bring tons of energy,” Perreault said. “That’s what I want to do [against Florida]: I want to be flying and bring tons of energy. That’s what I want to do tomorrow; I want to be all over the ice, bringing tons of energy. I think that’s what they want from me, and that’s what I want to bring [against Florida].”
Johansson scratched against Panthers, Perreault and Erskine back in
Washington Post | Feb 9