Ovechkin, Backstrom, Carlson hit ice for Caps

Ovechkin, Backstrom, Carlson hit ice for Caps
February 25, 2014, 11:15 am
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Joel Ward practices with kids of Fort Dupont

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Olympians Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, John Carlson and Marty Erat participated in their first practice with the Capitals on Tuesday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Visa issues kept left wing Marcus Johansson, who won a silver medal with Sweden, off the ice. He is expected to have those issues cleared before Thursday night’s game against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla.

Ovechkin skated on a top line with Backsrom and Erat. Aaron Volpatti [left shoulder] filled in for Johansson on a second line with center Mikhail Grabovski and right wing Troy Brouwer.

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Eric Fehr centered a third line with left wing Jason Chimera and right wing Joel Ward, while Jay Beagle centered a fourth line with left wing Brooks Laich and right wing Tom Wilson.

Carlson was back on a top defense unit with Karl Alzner, while Mike Green practiced on the right side of Dmitry Orlov. John Erskine and Connor Carrick and made up the third defense unit.

Before practice the Capitals loaned defenseman Jack Hillen [leg fracture] to the Hershey Bears on a long-term injury/illness conditioning assignment.

Ovechkin and Backstrom will be addressing the media following practice. Check back later for more on the return of the Capitals' Olympians.