The Caps just hit the ice for a very optional morning skate ahead of tonight’s game against the Jets.

Winger Alexander Semin, who missed Thursday’s 2-1 shootout loss in Philadelphia with a lower-body injury, was among the first players on the ice. He’s been firing shots and, at one point, appeared to skate at full speed during one drill.

Semin has been joined on the ice by forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Cody Eakin, defensemen John Erskine and Dmitry Orlov and goalies Michal Neuvirth and Tomas Vokoun.

For Backstrom, this marks the 10th time in 11 days the center has skated in an attempt to return from a concussion that has sidelined him since Jan. 7.

Vokoun, who has not played in a week because of a nagging groin muscle injury, took rapid-fire shots from Semin. The drill required Vokoun to go down into his butterfly position and pop back up to his skates repeatedly.

I hope to have more after the skate.

View Photo Gallery: Tarik El-Bashir assesses the top teams in the National Hockey League this week (March 23). Records are through Thursday’s games.

More on the Capitals:
Time for Capitals to seize control
Caps recall Cody Eakin from Hershey
Caps earn five of 10 possible points on trip
Despite quick start, Caps fall in shootout
Holtby says he was ‘terrible’ in shootout