Now that Washington Capitals prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov has made it clear he’s coming to DC, the only question left is when. If his KHL team, Traktor Chelyabinsk, makes the playoffs, his journey to North America will be delayed.
On Friday morning, the picture became more clear as Traktor Chelyabinsk defeated Vityaz Chekhov, 3-2, two days after falling to defending champion Dynamo 5-3. Kuznetsov continued some great play, recording a “secondary” assist on (former Capital) Jan Bulis‘ first period goal. He also recorded two shots on goal and lost all three of his face-offs in 20:55 of ice time — most among any Traktor forward.
Kuznetsov’s assist can be seen here:
The win (worth three KHL standings points) jumps Traktor back into playoff position in the East, as they re-claimed the 8th and final playoff spot from Admiral.
This is going to come down to the wire.
Traktor and Admiral have two games left in the regular season, and both games are at home. On Sunday, Traktor plays Torpedo (5th in East) and on the final day of the regular season, they play Ak Bars – the fourth-best team in the league. Meanwhile, Admiral has a much easier schedule, playing Sibir (6th in East) on Saturday and Amur, the worst team in the league, on Tuesday.
Additional reporting by Fedor Fedin.