Mike Knuble leads Washington Capitals to 3-0 win over New Jersey Devils
Mike Knuble lit the lamp twice and had an assist, as the Washington Capitals held on for a comfortable 3-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.
Michal Neuvirth turned away 33 shots for his fourth shutout of the season and Jeff Schultz also notched a goal for Washington. The Capitals came into this game having seen their nine-game winning streak snapped by Detroit.
Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau was all praise for Neuvirth after the game. He said, "He was good tonight and you could tell he wanted it tonight. He was disappointed with the final goal he allowed to the Red Wings and wanted to prove himself tonight.
He was the difference in this game."
Martin Brodeur made nine saves for New Jersey, who have lost two consecutive games. He was disappointed with his team’s performance on the night but stressed that they needed to get their act together.
Brodeur said, "We knew it was not going to be easy. This is the adversity we are facing right now and we need to get back on track. We have to do it quickly because we don't have much time left. It's consecutive drops and puts a damper on things. We have
to regroup. We have to do it ourselves."
The Capitals got the scoring started to take a 1-0 lead just six minutes into the opening stanza, as Schultz received a pass from Knuble and blasted a one-timer from the slot past Brodeur.
Washington then doubled their advantage to 2-0, with just four minutes left in the middle session. The goal came when the Capitals had control of the puck in the New Jersey zone and Ovechkin chipped a cross-ice pass from the left boards to defenceman John
Carlson. Carlson skated in from the right point alone and passed the puck to Knuble, who redirected it into an open net for his 18th goal of the season.
New Jersey then got two great opportunities to get themselves back into the game soon after. The first chance came when Ilya Kovalchuk swooped into the crease after a rush and ripped a shot that hit off the right post.The Devils got their second chance on
a power play right soon after when Matt Hendricks clipped Rod Pelley near the face. New Jersey hit two shots, but failed to score.
However, Knuble struck again to extend Washington’s lead to 3-0 with nearly eight and a half minutes left in the final frame. The play was set up by Ovechkin, who sent a pass from the left boards to the right circle for Knuble, who banged a wrist shot to
beat Brodeur over the glove.
Neuvirth stopped 12 shots in the opening session, eight in the middle period and made 13 saves in the final frame to complete his fourth career shutout and seal the win.