At 36, right winger Mike Knuble is showing no signs of slowing down - and making a pretty good case for the Flyers to re-sign him.
Knuble, who can be an unrestricted free agent after the season, scored two goals last night to help the Flyers defeat the Dallas Stars, 4-3, at the Wachovia Center and extend their winning streak to five.
As the trailer on the game-winning play, Knuble took a pass from a patient Mike Richards - who adroitly waited for the defense to follow Simon Gagne as he skated toward the goal - and scored from the slot with 5 minutes, 8 seconds left to snap a 3-3 tie.
"He's a big body and he obviously drives to the net well," Richards said. "It's hard to contain him and he always seems to find the openings."
"We're finding ways to win hockey games right now," coach John Stevens said. "Richie went down and made a great play to win the game, and the penalty kill has been a staple for a while now."
The Flyers killed all five penalties they were assessed; they had just one power play.
Knuble now has 10 goals and is on pace for 41.
"Ever since we put him back with Gagne, it looks like he's reborn," Stevens said. "Those two have chemistry together and they were playing well when Danny [Briere] was in the lineup, and they continue to play well with Mike Richards."
Knuble "keeps himself in good shape. He works hard at his game and stays long after practice," Stevens added. "He's a real good pro and he wants to continue being a good player, and at his age, you have to continue to work hard - and he does."
There had been rumblings that the Flyers might trade Knuble to free salary-cap space and sign free-agent Brendan Shanahan. But those rumblings are disappearing as Knuble's production has increased.
Knuble said he thought the looming free agency would make it "a little more difficult to play this year with that hanging over my head. But when you get rolling, you kind of forget about it. . . . I have my niche here and like it here and know what I do well here. All you can do is play well and let everything happen."
Jeff Carter, who gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead with a second-period goal, also sparked the attack. Carter is tied with Buffalo's Thomas Vanek with an NHL-best 15 goals. (No Flyer has won the league's goal-scoring crown since Reggie Leach scored 61 in the 1975-76 season.)
After Mike Modano's second goal of the game made it 3-3 in the second period, Knuble's goal upped the Flyers' record to 6-0-1 in their last seven games - and 10-3-1 since their 0-3-3 start.
Knuble, who has scored five goals in three games that his brother Steve has attended this year, said his age is "irrelevant. I feel great. I've got low mileage. . . . I still feel I'm pretty effective and able to play with those guys and complement those guys."
How old does he feel?
"Eighteen," he said, smiling. "Like [Luca] Sbisa."