After a lengthy scratches skate I had a chance to catch up with a few more of the Capitals’ walking wounded.

Nicklas Backstrom was taking shots and testing his left hand and fractured thumb, but he’s still day-to-day and didn’t put a timetable on when he expected to play. It won't be tonight against Montreal, though. He said his thumb is still sore and a little stiff but that it’s gradually getting better.

“It feels better than before. It’s not 100 percent yet, but hopefully soon,” Backstrom said. “I don’t know [when I’ll play]. We just have to see how it goes. I need to see how my hand feels tonight, tomorrow – how it reacts after this practice today.”

Tom Poti is on the trip but he said stopping and starting on the ice still bothers his groin so he’s been trying to be cautious during the workouts. He said he didn’t expect to play in the first three games of this stretch away from the Verizon Center but thought it was possible he’d be able to return to the lineup in the latter trio of games.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Semyon Varlamov (knee) was ready to start taking part in full practice again but that he thinks the Russian goaltender wouldn’t be ready to suit up for a game for another week.

“I’d say sometime in the next three games in the next trip, [Varlamov will] be playing,” Boudreau said.

On the Canadiens’ injury front, defenseman Brent Sopel is expected to miss the game with a hand injury that’s believed to be a fracture, and although Michael Cammalleri missed Montreal’s practice on Monday with an illness, he should be in the lineup against the Capitals.