On the day before the official start of training camp, only four Capitals players in town decided not to skate Saturday. So much for a day off.
Twenty Caps players skated, with only goaltender Braden Holtby and forwards Brooks Laich, Marcus Johansson and Mike Ribeiro were not on the ice. Alex Ovechkin returned after taking a day off; Mike Green returned after a two-day absence.
Perhaps most importantly, center Nicklas Backstrom was on the ice for a second straight day.
For the first time this week, fans at the team’s practice facility outnumbered players. That should continue Sunday when camp begins.
Goaltender Michal Neuvirth and forward Wojtek Wolski were new arrivals on ice Saturday. Everyone on the roster except for Dmitry Orlov (out with an upper-body injury) is in town and has skated at some point.
Tom Wilson, the Caps’ first-round draft pick at No. 16 overall in June, played for the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League on Friday night. He’s expected to travel to Washington on Saturday afternoon.
The list of those on the ice Saturday: Neuvirth, Green, Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Tom Poti, Roman Hamrlik, John Erskine, Jeff Schultz, Jack Hillen, Ovechkin, Backstrom, Troy Brouwer, Jason Chimera, Mathieu Perreault, Wolski, Matt Hendricks, Jay Beagle, Joel Ward and Joey Crabb.