The Washington Times - March 6, 2012, 12:01PM

On Monday, Mike Knuble talked about the Washington Capitals’ recent up-and-down stretch.

“The last five games is pretty predictable,” the veteran right wing said. “It follows a pretty predictable path as far as who we’re beating and who we’re not beating.”

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Predictability continues in lineup choices for Tuesday night, as well. Knuble failed to score on a breakaway Sunday after four straight games as a healthy scratch and will be back in the press box for Tuesday night’s matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Keith Aucoin steps back into the lineup and is expected to play the left wing on the Caps’ fourth line.

Asked why Aucoin over Knuble, coach Dale Hunter again brought up speed and scoring.

“Just more getting a faster lineup again. These guys aren’t as big as Philly was,” Hunter said. “Just get some offense going. He had a big game in Toronto and scored and had an assist. So we need some goals.”

This is the eighth time in 13 games that Knuble has been a healthy scratch. Roman Hamrlik will be out for the seventh straight game and John Erskine for the 11th straight game. Both defensemen are healthy.

Knuble said he felt “absolutely fine” in his 14:16 of ice time Sunday against the Flyers.

“Yeah. I felt great,” he said. “Ten days off will make you feel pretty good.”