WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 20: Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals celebrates with his teammates after scoring a game against the Nashville Predators during the first period at Verizon Center on December 20, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
The Caps of old returned for one night in a 4-1 win over the Predators.
Tuesday's game between the Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators began with a tribute of Mike Knuble's career. Knuble became the 269th player to appear in 1,000 games and fifth this season. The Caps wore commemorative "22" jerseys during warm-ups; the players presented him with a Sea Doo; general manager George McPhee gave him a silver stick. It was truly a special night.
What made the night more special, however, was the vintage performance that the Caps put on in a 4-1 win over the Predators.
Washington scored four goals (which is something, since it had scored three goals in its last three games) in classic fashion. Alex Ovechkin scored on a breakaway; Nicklas Backstrom beat Anders Lindback on a wraparound; Alexander Semin's curl-and-drag put the game out of reach. Add in a Troy Brouwer power play goal and the Caps won with relative ease.
The Caps' performance under Dale Hunter through 10 games has had its ups and downs, but Tuesday's performance was Bruce Boudreau-esque. Memories.