RMNB’s Peter Hassett wrote Saturday that it was time to break up Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov on the first line. Apparently, head coach Todd Reirden agrees.
In the coach’s pregame press conference, Reirden told reporters that Alex Ovechkin will be reunited with Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie during Sunday’s matinee game against the Arizona Coyotes.
Per Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post, Evgeny Kuznetsov will center Chandler Stephenson and Jakub Vrana on the second line.
Kuznetsov is going to center Stephenson and Vrana. Ovechkin-Backstrom-Oshie is coming back tonight.
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) November 11, 2018
Reirden also announced that Braden Holtby will start and second pairing defenseman John Carlson is a game-time decision.
While they’ve put up big goals and assists numbers together, Ovechkin and Kuznetsov has have struggled defensively together and is underwater in shot attempts. Meanwhile, Backstrom and Oshie have faced much tougher defensive assignments on the second line. 39 percent of Backstrom’s career assists have come off of Alex Ovechkin goals.
Game time is 5 pm.
Headline photo: Bruce Bennett
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