The Washington Times - March 22, 2012, 01:04PM

PHILADELPHIA | While there were many questions and few answers at the Washington Capitals’ morning skate at Wells Fargo Center, the best continuation of a good news story came back at their practice facility.

Nicklas Backstrom skated for the ninth time in the past 10 days, for about an hour this time, a team spokesman confirmed.

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On Wednesday, coach Dale Hunter said Backstrom will continue to do “more,” which could include taking part in team practices maybe even as early as next week.

“We all know he’s a special guy, special player. We always like to see him come back; he’s skating. But he feels good about himself,” Hunter said. “The worst thing you can do to a player is don’t put him on the ice. It’s tough. He’s back skating, he’s feeling better and it’s good for the Washington Capitals and for Nicky.”

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Tomas Vokoun doesn’t seem anywhere near ready to return, but Thursday marked progress for the 35-year-old goaltender as he tries to come back from the first groin injury of his NHL career.

Vokoun took the ice in Philadelphia a little late, skating around and testing his groin for several minutes before taking shots from his Caps teammates. Afterward, he said his groin is feeling a lot better than it was even a few days ago, when he lasted only 30 seconds on the ice in Detroit.