Braden Holtby will get the start for the Capitals tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. Michal Neuvirth came off the ice first but it was unusually early even for a morning skate and he was unhappy about something but he is healthy, I’m told.

--Alex Ovechkin, Matt Bradley, Marco Sturm and Dennis Wideman did not participate in the optional morning skate.

--Mike Green (concussion) skated this morning for the second consecutive day. Remember though, because Green is on long-term injured reserve the earliest he would be eligible to return is March 22 against Philadelphia.

--Tom Poti (groin) and Nicklas Backstrom (fractured thumb) are taking part in the scratches skate with the Capitals’ assistant coaches and Jay Beagle, Tyler Sloan and D.J. King. This is one of the longer workouts that Poti has participated in recently, so that may be a good sign for the veteran defenseman who has played in only parts of 21 games this year.

Backstrom still can’t take shots with the cast on his left thumb and hand but he’s hopeful that it will be feeling better when they take the cast off in a few days. For practice, he’s wearing a glove that has the palm cut out of it to accommodate the cast.

--Semyon Varlamov was on the ice prior to the rest of the team’s morning skate. “He felt good,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He’s coming along, he’s not ready to play yet but he’s coming along.”