UPDATE, 6:30: Nicklas Backstrom could return to Capitals on Saturday

The Capitals are holding a lightly-attended optional practice on Friday, but the biggest news is the continued on-ice presence of Nicklas Backstrom.

For the 17th time in the past 18 days Backstrom, who has missed 40 games with a concussion, is on the ice working out with teammates and the coaching staff. The 24-year-old Swede has been out of the lineup since Jan. 3 but could be nearing a return perhaps as soon as Saturday against the Canadiens or Monday at Tampa Bay.

In addition to Backstrom, nine players skated. They were: Braden Holtby, Michal Neuvirth, Jay Beagle, Jason Chimera, Cody Eakin, Joel Ward, Jeff Halpern and John Erskine.