BALLSTON, Va. - The Washington Capitals returned to practice after the All-Star Break Monday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Every healthy player except for Dennis Wideman, who was given a day off after his appearance at the All-Star game, according to a team spokesman, participated in practice:
Alex Ovechkin/Marcus Johansson - Mathieu Perreault - Alexander Semin
Matt Hendricks - Brooks Laich - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Jeff Halpern - Mike Knuble
Jay Beagle - Cody Eakin - Joel Ward/Joel Rechlicz
Rechlicz, recalled from AHL Hershey Monday, was brought up to add some toughness to the Caps' lineup, according to head coach Dale Hunter. Hunter also said that Rechlicz, who has 23 career games of NHL experience, will be a game-time decision Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
In discouraging news, Nicklas Backstrom did not skate at all during the All-Star break, according to Hunter. In the last 24 days, Backstrom has skated for only five minutes. Backstrom suffered a head injury January 3 against the Calgary Flames.