BOSTON | Mike Knuble wasn’t surprised he remained in the Washington Capitals’ lineup for Game 5, even with Nicklas Backstrom returning from suspension. And his teammates weren’t surprised when he scored on a rebound from a Joel Ward shot in the third period Saturday.
“That goal with Knuble and Ward there, we practice that in practice every single time,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “It’s nice to see it work.”
Knuble said before the game he thought his line with Ward and Keith Aucoin could be effective, especially cycling the puck on the Boston Bruins. But the Caps getting offense from that group was crucial, especially after they were on the ice for Brad Marchand’s goal late in the second.
“We were even more happy to get the goal back for the team,” Knuble said. “It didn’t matter who scored on our line, just to get it back. We were on the ice for one so we wanted to make sure we ended up even at least.”
Even, and worthy of praise because of a simple goal that Knuble scored when the puck bounced off goaltender Tim Thomas ans right to him in the slot.
“It just kind of bouncing around there and next thing you know we had a rush there and I kind of tried to have some speed going around the outside,” Knuble said. “Joel made a very, very smart play. He’s not trying to score a goal on that play he’s getting it on net and you just had to play the angle. You all know the angles and you hope that it comes off on a certain angle and it comes right off to you.”
Knuble didn’t miss the chance to score his first goal of the playoffs and 13th of his NHL career. After being a healthy scratch the first three games of the series, the 39-year-old right wing is again showing why his postseason experience is valuable.
“He had a good game the other game,” coach Dale Hunter said. “He’s a bigger guy and gives us more size on the wing.”