This is just about the best photo ever. (Photo: Rob Carr)

Eight games into his NHL career (which feels absolutely appropriate), Evgeny Kuznetsov has scored the first goal of his NHL career. It was a big one.

With under a minute to go and with the Caps shorthanded and with their goalie pulled, Kuznetsov whacked Alex Ovechkin‘s rebound past Jonathan Quick. That goal tied the Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals at 4. It unleashed a raucous celebration in Verizon Center. And it gave the Caps one very badly needing standings point. Call it clutch.

Kuznetsov now has six points in his eight games as an NHL player. I don’t know about you, but so far he looks to me like he has the potential to be a superstar in this league. This dirty goal was just a taste.

Now onto the media extravaganza!

Video of the Goal

John Walton’s Call of the Goal

GIFs of the Goal

The Celebration

The Puck

The Coach’s Praise

Speaking to the press:

“It was a big goal that actually got us a point. Shorthanded. It was a good play. We won a draw, Orly [Dmitry Orlov] makes a nice run up the ice, which gives us a chance to get the goalie out. We dumped it in, and then I’m sure they relaxed just enough; it’s a weird situation. Sometimes those goals go in. It was a big goal for him and us; it gets us a point.”

The Ace Prediction

What can I say? I am the Zhenya whisperer.

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  • Amazing. I feel like a proud papa right now.


    Good for Kuznetov. This is something he will never forget and the moment is made more special by the fact he had his two best mates on the ice with him. He’ll be able to tell his kids one day that his first goal was assisted by one of the greatest players in NHL history.

  • Alex Hughes

    If you don’t love John Walton’s goal calls, there is something wrong with your ears.

  • northernMD

    Being there to see that goal was pretty much the highlight of the season for me, wish they could have pulled it out in OT. Also, holy crap did ovi come inches away from destroying his face.

  • Myan

    If you guys haven’t watched Kuzya’s segment on Hockey Nomad Goes to Russia, GO WATCH IT! It will make you love Kuzya and this goal 100x more than you already do! Watching that documentary with retrospect literally brought tears to my eyes…his story is beautiful and it was AWESOME watching this goal!

  • Rob W.

    What a moment to get his first goal but how bout that pass by Fehr from gretzkys office. The future will be full of happy russian pics like the one with him and Dima

  • Pete

    “They score! They Score! They score!” Reminds me of him calling Wardo’s game 7 goal.

  • Pete

    “They score! They Score! They score!” Reminded me of him calling Wardo’s game 7 goal.

  • Alex Hughes

    I just love the raw emotion that he puts into his radio broadcasts they make the game so exciting to listen to

  • JP

    So much to love about that goal. Ovie’s sick shot from the top of the circle. The King’s defenseman’s stick that goes flying. Kuzya getting his first goal doing some dirty work in the paint. EVERYTHING about the game situation (shorthanded, goalie pulled, needing points in the standings).

    But my FAVORITE part was how hard Ovie scrambled to make sure he grabbed the puck and got it to his buddy so he could celebrate his first NHL goal.

    Class move, Ovie.

  • Myan

    You guys at RMNB should gif the goal cam of Ovi grabbing the puck & the ensuing celebration along the boards.

  • Begemot

    Man, being a Caps fan can break your heart, but every so often they pull off magic like this. (Yeah, they need to protect a lead, but that’s for the other thread.) Great teamwork and an astounding goal.

  • Yo8

    I watched this between 2011-2012 and I couldn’t believe Kuznetsov and Ovi end up in the same team. Their stories are awfully familiar even their own personal tragedies.

    Ovi’s part:


    Kuznetsov’s part:


  • Jesse Morgan

    When was Ovi’s last shorthanded point?

  • ATPinDC

    Holy good god. I just had to watch that video about 8 times in a row, and I still don’t really understand how all that happened. Just remarkable. Welcome, Kuzya!

  • ATPinDC

    As well you should! Is it weird that I thought of your #TheBank prediction as soon as my brain started working again after the goal celebration? I think it’s a little weird.


  • Honestly, I believe in fate. And I just knew Kuznetsov wouldn’t score his first goal when I couldn’t write about it on Saturday (as I am suiting up as a Brouwer Ranger).

  • Benjamin Esham

    Every hair on my arms and neck stood up when I heard John’s call ..

  • Gersh21

    The finish of that goal was a little like Chimera’s Game 4 OTGWG vs the Rangers the way it seemed to pass the goalie by accident and Kuzya was there to get the job done.

  • holtbysaidno

    What’s missing from the clip is the contrast with Walton’s worried tone leading up to the goal. Walton’s quiet concern started with the season hinging on whether the caps could score 6-on-5, quieter still with the penalty call… then KUZYA! That call made me jump up in my car seat and bump my head on the ceiling.

    The capitals have a great media personalities backing them up on radio, tv, internet blogs, and all!

  • salgotnv

    I think we need two more Russians to complete this line

  • themav80

    Classic “Cardiac Caps” hockey.

    I love everything about this goal. Fehr getting the puck behind the net. Ovi going after that puck with reckless abandon and crashing the net chasing his own shot. Kuzya parked in just the right spot to stuff it in. Orlov’s exuberance during the celebration. Ovi laying half in the net quickly scrambling to grab the puck for Kuzya.

    Ugggh. I could watch this forever.

  • JenCo

    I love seeing all those guys charging for the lose puck. I can’t handle the roller coaster ride of the next three weeks.

  • Кулёк Кулёкович

    Maybe Tkachev from Moncton or Barbashev

  • David Armando Lopez-Mazariegos

    Can you make Walton’s call into a ringtone please?!?

  • ATPinDC

    Heh. Among the most anticipated moments of the entire season for us all, Ian! 😀

  • Roman Z.

    A Russian-five in WSH in my wildest dreams …

  • Poppy

    I think that the best part was his utter disbelief. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THEY SCORE!”

  • fatima