Here are some notes from the Capitals' Saturday morning practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex:
-Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin both got the morning off, and Coach Bruce Boudreau said they were both feeling sick.
"They're good," Boudreau said. "They're just feeling a little under the weather today so we wanted to get them away from everybody. They both play a lot of hockey, so it was more of a maintenance day for those guys."
Alex Ovechkin skated on the "top" line with Marcus Johansson and Matt Hendricks.
-Speaking of Johansson, the young center has missed the last six games with a hip-flexor injury, and while he said he feels pretty good there still might not be room for him in the lineup.
Johansson said he has never had a stretch where he has sat out this long, and he said on Saturday that "It's boring."
"We're playing pretty good now, and he's healthy, so I don't know what we're going to do," Boudreau said. "It's quite a good luxury when you have really good players and they're battling for spots. It's a tough call."
Boudreau said he wouldn't rule out sending Johansson to Hershey for a game or two to get him some action.
"We'll consider it," Boudreau said. "We consider everything."
-Goalie Semyon Varlamov was already out on the ice stretching by himself when I arrived at KCI about 45 minutes before the 11 a.m. practice. He skated some slow laps with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish and went through some skating drills that forced him to move laterally. Varlamov then got in net and took some shots from Nemish -- starting at one post and quickly pivoting to the top of the crease to face the shot -- as goaltending coach Arturs Irbe looked on.
Varlamov did not participate in the regular practice.
-Tom Poti made it through the entire practice Saturday and could be getting closer to returning. The veteran defenseman has missed nine of the last 11 games with what is believed to be a groin injury, and he said earlier this week that rushing back into action could aggravate the injury.
- Defenseman Mike Green got clipped in the lower leg or foot with a slap shot early in practice. He went down to the ice and was very slow to get up, but Green seemed fine shortly after the brief scare and participated in the rest of the session at full speed.