Ice Wars 6: Return of the Knuble

Posted February 1, 2013
Mike Knuble does what he's best known for, skating the edge of Braden Holtby's crease.

Mike Knuble does what he’s best known for, skating the edge of goaltender Braden Holtby’s crease (All Photos Credit: M. Richter)

The Compressed Season Chronicles: The Grind Continues

After two harrowing losses North of the Border (and a ranking of 30th in the league), the Capitals returned home with hopes of victory in their hearts and Braden Holtby in their net.  Unfortunately, the tied-for-second-to-last-in-the-East Philadelphia Flyers were standing in their way, and they brought a secret weapon!  Luckily for the Caps, that mystery resource would bow before their third period fury, giving Washington a 3-2 home ice victory.

Troy Brouwer consorts with Mike Knuble, now the enemy (Photo Credit: M. Richter)

Troy Brouwer consorts with Mike Knuble, now the enemy (Photo Credit: M. Richter)

That hidden gem is crease-crasher Mike Knuble, who has been a member of nearly half the NHL over the course of his career – most recently your very own Washington Capitals.  That’s not to devalue the Flyers’ eternally contracted russian goaltender, Ilya Bryzgalov, or their All Star of a new captain, Claude Giroux.

So, this happened...  (Gervais, from Briere & McGinn)

So, this happened… (Gervais, from Briere & McGinn)

Despite their bottom of the barrel ranking at the moment, the Flyers have plenty of talent kicking around their lines.  This was apparent when they snagged the first goal of the night – 6:11 into the second period.

And then Backstrom tied things up with a beautiful breakaway.

And then Backstrom tied things up with a beautiful breakaway.

Not to be outdone on the glitz and glamour, the Caps have a few stars scattered through their own lines (and I’m not just referring to the unique sense of hair style).  One of the brightest lights on the Capitals roster tallied his first goal of the season tonight – Nick Backstrom, with a breakaway so clean that it looked like a penalty shot.

It’s always the quiet ones who do the most damage, however.  First, Troy Brouwer broke the Caps into the lead early in the third (with his third of the season, coincidentally).  He was followed by Wojtek Wolski‘s game-winner a few moments later.  Even a late tally from the Flyers’ Brayden Schenn couldn’t close the gap to force overtime.

This win marks the second of the season for the Caps, and on Sunday they’ll aim to repeat the W against long-time rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins.  If possible, that game promises to be even louder than tonight’s.

Note: In the first period, John Erskine’s elbow impacted Wayne Simmonds’s face and ended the game for the Flyer.  It won’t be known for another day or two whether supplemental discipline will be coming Erskine’s way – there was no penalty assessed on the play.

M. Richter

M. Richter

Associate Editor at Capitals Outsider
Em is a fan of hockey first and individual teams second, with geographical ties that cross the NHL. She was born in the Midwest, raised along the East Coast, and graduated from a university in Western Canada. A firm believer in context above all else, and a card-carrying on-ice official with USA Hockey, she splits her time between the big picture and the details. When not covering the AHL and ECHL for Caps Outsider, her photography can be found on Behance and Flickr. She also occasionally chimes in about the Hershey Bears on the Power Play Post Show.
M. Richter