Knuble did not play in Wednesday's 4-3 double overtime victory with what is believed to be an injured right hand. He listed himself as "day-to-day" Thursday and was not available for comment after practice. Before his teammates took the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, Knuble participated in full-speed skating drills in full gear. Meanwhile, defenseman Dennis Wideman also skated, but was in warm-ups and did not take part in any strenuous activity.
The Caps will attempt to clinch their first-round series Saturday without Knuble. Brooks Laich skated with Knuble's usual linemates, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, Friday and could be on the top line Saturday.
"Brooks is so responsible," Boudreau said. "You can play him anywhere and he's going to make that line better. Right now, with Mike Knuble out, it makes a better fit. But who knows, it may change,"
Jason Chimera, who started on the first line Wednesday, has returned to his normal place on the third line with Marcus Johansson and Eric Fehr.
The Caps have held a 3-1 series lead many times before, including last season's demise against the Montreal Canadiens, but Boudreau believes that the Caps must move forward and forget about what's happened in the past.
"We have to have a short memory. The only ones who don't have short memories are media because they got to write about it during the days off. I guarantee the New York Rangers have forgotten about it like we forgot about Game 3 and everything is brand new. Everything is starting brand new, one-on-one, team versus team."