Johansson to meet Capitals in Florida

Johansson to meet Capitals in Florida
February 26, 2014, 3:15 pm
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Backstrom adjusts after Olympic disappointment

Marcus Johansson’s Olympic experience has lasted three more days than he bargained for.

After spending two weeks representing Sweden in Sochi, Russia, visa issues forced the Capitals’ 23-year-old left wing to spend the past two days in Stockholm, Sweden. Johansson is scheduled to arrive in Florida Wednesday night and plans on practicing with the Caps Thursday morning in preparation for Thursday night’s game against the Panthers.

With Johansson’s availability for Thursday night uncertain, Capitals coach Adam Oates said left wing Nicolas Deschamps was recalled from the AHL Hershey Bears “because [Johansson] is traveling so far, just in case jet lag kills him and he’s blah.

“It’s an important game. We need guys that can play. So if he’s not able to go I wouldn’t hesitate to put the other guy in.”

If Johansson is able to play – Oates said it will probably be a game-time decision – it will be interesting to see if he returns to an Olympic line with center Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.

Brooks Laich practiced on that line on Wednesday after spending Wednesday on the fourth line.

The Caps’ second line had center Mikhail Grabvoski between left wing Marty Erat and right wing Troy Broueer, while the third line remained the same with Eric Fehr centering wingers Jason Chimera and Joel Ward.

The fourth line had Deschamps and Aaron Volpatti rotating at left wing with center Jay Beagle and right wing Tom Wilson.

[RELATED: All things considered, Backstrom deserved better]

Volpatti [left shoulder] is still a few days away from returning to the lineup.

Oates said that after a week of practice he expects a high-tempo game against the Panthers.

“The break’s great, but halfway through it you start thinking about hockey,” he said. “You’re tired of practice and you wan to play the games.”