The Washington Times - February 24, 2012, 06:46PM

Mike Knuble was cruising along since returning to the lineup. He hasn’t scored (at least officially), and the days of him being a healthy scratch three straight games for the Washington Capitals seemed like ancient history.

Then, Friday night, they were back, as Knuble was a healthy scratch for the game against the Montreal Canadiens.

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It’s the fourth time in eight games that Knuble is a healthy scratch. A team spokesman confirmed the right wing is healthy - no injury, no illness.

The Caps went 0-2-1 with Knuble as a healthy scratch but haven’t fared that much better since. They’ve dropped a total of six of seven.

Last week when discussing Knuble’s status out of the lineup, coach Dale Hunter explained what else, other than speed, was keeping the 39-year-old alternate captain in the press box.

“Production is big and defensive play,” Hunter said last week. “I know Mike and he’s frustrated, he works hard and he wants to play.”

Meanwhile, general manager George McPhee was asked last week if he was trading Knuble.

“He’s a great pro, a great guy. We have no interest in trading him,” McPhee said. “He hasn’t asked for that. We haven’t talked to him about it.”

The trade deadline is 3 p.m. Monday. Keith Aucoin took Knuble’s spot in the lineup.