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Fedorov On Top Line (Updated)

Just got to Wachovia Center and and there's been another round of line scrambling. The biggest change involves Sergei Fedorov, who has been moved to the top line, where he's centering Alex Ovechkin and Viktor Kozlov.

Fedorov has stepped in for rookie Nicklas Backstrom, who has struggled and at times looked overwhelmed in his first NHL playoff series. Backstrom, meantime, has been dropped to the second line and is skating between Brooks Laich and Alexander Semin.

Here's how they are lined up:
Ovechkin-Fedorov-Kozlov
Laich-Backstrom-Semin
Cooke-Steckel-Bradley
Brashear-Gordon-Fehr

Also, defenseman Jeff Schultz (back spasms) is not out there, so it looks like Steve Eminger will get back into the lineup.

Updated: Schultz said he doesn't expect to play tomorrow and is having trouble with everyday things like getting dressed. That's how bad his back feels right now.

Also, when Boudreau talked to the media after practice he said the changes to the lineup in today's practice were an "expirement" and that he has not committed to going with them for tomorrow's Game 4. He's definitely considering the changes, though.

Boudreau also spent about a half hour tweaking the power play. With an emphasis on getting more traffic in front of the net, he's got Sergei Fedorov playing the point, Alex Ovechkin in the slot, Brooks Laich in front of the net and Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom on the wing. That means Alexander Semin has been moved to the second unit, which also consisted of Eric Fehr, Viktor Kozlov, Mike Green and Tom Poti.

As for the lineup changes, Boudreau said: "Just screwing around today, seeing if anything would work. You'll probably see them back to normal tomorrow. Just seeing if there was anything there that I liked."

Asked if there was anything there at he liked, Boudreau said with a smile, "I can't say that. I can't. You guys want everything."

So you expect Backstrom to be on the top line again tomorrow, Boudreau said, "I expect him to be playing tomorrow."

It must be playoff time when Boudreau is being coy.

As for the changes to the power play, Boudreau said, "I don't think it's any secret we want more traffic in front of the net. We've talked about it every game. The guys that are good at it, we thought we'd give them a chance at it."

Boudreau also said that he talked to Ovechkin this morning and Alex told him that he's not feeling frustrated.

"He said he's not," Boudreau said. "He said he not getting frustrated. He's just got to be better. My history with him is that you can't keep a good man down. They're doing a good job on him. Every time he touches the puck, they're hitting him. He's got to find a way, and he's a very hockey player. He's not just talented. He's also very, very intelligent. He's got to find away from it. The good ones do., and I'm certain he will."

Update: I'm also getting word that Flyers' defenseman Kimmo Timonen (upper body) will play tomorrow.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  April 16, 2008; 11:16 AM ET
 
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Next: Boudreau Sticks With Changes (Updated)

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