UNIONDALE, N.Y. | It seemed to be 35 games and 99 days in the making. Mike Knuble’s last goal came Feb. 5 at the Florida Panthers, and he has been up and down and in and out of the Washington Capitals’ lineup since.
The veteran right wing was this close again and again but looked snake-bitten.
“I don’t know. I had a great chance in Boston to score and a decent chance against Toronto,” Knuble said. “You just know that they’re not going to be that many in number.”
The drought ended Tuesday night at the New York Islanders, and even that had to wait until an official scoring change. But it seemed Knuble knew right away that he deflected Dennis Wideman’s shot to finally put the puck in the net.
It has been a rough season for the 39-year-old alternate captain, who has been a healthy scratch nine out of the past 17 games. Tuesday was a nice reward for a popular player and teammate.
Naturally, Knuble credited linemates Keith Aucoin and Joel Ward.
“I thought Keith and Ward and I played a strong game, cycling the puck, hanging onto the puck,” Knuble said. “Keith obviously had a big night. I think he had quietly three assists.”
Aucoin did, but Knuble deserves praise for scoring a goal that quickly answered New York’s third of the night. He was in the right place at the perfect time, and it helped the Caps remain in the game.
“You just go to the net and things happen sometimes,” Knuble said.