Photo credit: Vitaly Gubin/HC Traktor
Red alert! Washington Capitals top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov has finally scored his first goal of the KHL season.
Coming into Sunday’s game against Avangard, Kuznetsov, who missed six weeks of the season with a shoulder injury, had just one assist and a minus-9 — that’s bad even if it’s not a real stat — in the first six games of he played.
Both teams, who faced each other in the Eastern Conference finals last season, were surprisingly outside of the playoff picture as of Saturday — Traktor was ninth and Avangard was tied for 12th in the East. Thankfully for these two teams, someone had to win this game.
Kuznetsov, who has had trouble finding the net since late last season, finally got lucky. While Traktor was on a five-on-three power play, Kuznetsov tried to feed the puck to a wide-open Jan Bulis in front of the net. Instead, the puck got a mind of its own, and hopped under Bulis’s stick and went in off Avangard defenseman Nikita Pivtsakin’s skate.
What a celebration! Though please bring back the push-ups, Kuzya.
Now that’s a greasy goal.
Midway through the second, Kuznetsov’s got a breakaway, only to be denied by Mathieu Garon. But boy was it impressive.
Later, Kuzya eventually won the game for Traktor in the shootout.
Kuznetsov’s shootout tally is at 2:00 mark.
This is definitely Kuznetsov’s best game of the year so far. The Caps prospect also recorded a season-high six shots on goal and skated a ridiculous 26:11 TOI. Traktor is now tied for eighth place in the East with a game in hand.