Skip to content

Ovechkin back on line with Crabb and Beagle

Jan 28, 2013, 1:31 PM EDT

Alex Ovechkin AP

Capitals head coach Adam Oates must see something the Washington hockey media doesn’t.

Reporters were left scratching their heads today at practice as Oates had Alex Ovechkin back on a line with center Jay Beagle and winger Joey Crabb.

The Caps got their first win of the young season Sunday, finishing off a 3-2 victory over Buffalo after Ovechkin — whose third-period game-winner was his first goal of the season — had moved onto a line with Nicklas Backstrom and Troy Brouwer.

But Ovechkin, Beagle and Crabb have started the last two games on the same line, and apparently they’ll be together again tomorrow in Ottawa.

With all due respect to Beagle and Crabb, the thought of Ovechkin skating on a line with players of their caliber would’ve seemed unthinkable a short time ago.

Per the Washington Time’s Stephen Whyno, Oates is citing “balance” as the reason to put Ovechkin with two forwards that have combined for 26 goals in 235 career NHL games.

Oates added: “I like having north-south guys with him. Maybe sometimes other [linemates] might try to get too creative … as opposed to being more relentless going north. I think playing with Joey and Beags, they’re going to go north more.”

Backstrom and Brouwer, by the way, were skating with Wojtek Wolski on the left wing today.

Latest Posts
  1. Hurricanes owner seeking investor to commit ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’

    Sep 22, 2014, 12:11 PM EDT

    Hurricanes Front Office Shakeup Hockey AP

    But Peter Karmanos wants to retain control of the team.

  2. Johnston’s system is ‘less strict’ than Bylsma’s

    Sep 22, 2014, 11:39 AM EDT

    Mike Johnston AP

    “It’s nice having a little more freedom, in that regard, especially for the creativity that’s on our team,” says Beau Bennett.

  3. The Caps have a plan to rejuvenate Mike Green

    Sep 22, 2014, 10:45 AM EDT

    Mike Green Getty Images

    “I think what we’re going to do as a team will be right up his alley.”

  4. Flyers counting on MacDonald to play huge role

    Sep 22, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

    Andrew MacDonald Getty Images

    He’ll get tougher assignments with Kimmo Timonen sidelined indefinitely.

  5. Iginla has ‘real good chemistry’ with Duchene

    Sep 22, 2014, 8:58 AM EDT

    Matt Duchene, Jarome Iginla AP

    Colorado is counting on the duo to be very effective this season.

  6. Sharks say Scott adds ‘element of security’

    Sep 21, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT

    John Scott AP

    Head coach Todd McLellan thinks he can play, at least.

  7. Canes’ LaRose explains hiatus: ‘I fell out of love with the sport’

    Sep 21, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v Carolina Hurricanes Getty Images

    “But sometimes you have to lose what you have to realize what you had.”

  8. Injuries piling up as preseason schedule begins

    Sep 21, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

    New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Four Getty Images

    Players nursing bumps and bruises as camps wrap.

  9. Wild’s Yeo is already getting excited about Vanek

    Sep 21, 2014, 7:31 PM EDT

    Wild Vanek Hockey AP

    “He’s thinking usually two or three plays ahead.”

  10. It sure seems like Byfuglien would rather play on Jets’ D

    Sep 21, 2014, 6:09 PM EDT

    Winnipeg Jets v San Jose Sharks Getty Images

    “God, defense was just so much fun though.”

  11. Report: Coyotes assess first-rounder Perlini’s broken hand

    Sep 21, 2014, 4:49 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes Rookie Camp Getty Images

    The team’s still trying to determine if surgery is necessary.

  12. Sens play it safe with Ryan after he collides with Turris

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:48 PM EDT

    Brandon Sutter, Bobby Ryan AP

    He won’t play in either of Ottawa’s Monday exhibitions games.

  13. Flyers’ Laughton likely headed to Lehigh Valley

    Sep 21, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT

    ScottLaughton Getty Images

    Seasoning in the AHL should serve the 20-year-old well.

  14. Schenn moves to center in Philadelphia

    Sep 21, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    Brayden Schenn Getty Images

    With Giroux out, Craig Berube juggles lines.

  15. Hemsky adjusting to life in Dallas

    Sep 21, 2014, 10:31 AM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators Getty Images

    Not at Oilers camp for the first time in his career.

  16. Jenner at center begins Sunday

    Sep 21, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    Boone Jenner #38 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 5, 2013 in Uniondale, New York. The Blue Jackets defeated the Islanders 3-2 in the shootout.
(October 4, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    Columbus looking at options with Johansen not at camp.

  17. Report: Johansen has gotten no shortage of KHL offers

    Sep 20, 2014, 11:36 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    The restricted free agent seems to be at an impasse with Columbus.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Ryan (1212)
  2. J. Drouin (1156)
  3. C. Giroux (1154)
  4. J. Quick (1103)
  5. N. Horton (1076)