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Clutch photo by Adam Vingan

Evgeny Kuznetsov played well against Toronto last week. Not one to let his friend get a big head, Russian comrade Alex Ovechkin, knocked him down a peg or two by pranking his post-game press conference. “You can’t speak English,” Ovechkin yelled, picked up by microphones.

You can watch that whole interview on RMNB.

On Monday, Kuznetsov struck back in the weirdest way possible.

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Last night, Peter posted a funny photo of Evgeny Kuznetsov in his game recap. Kuzya’s face was ridiculous, so I made a four-panel zoom-in for our Twitter followers. As I began that process, I discovered something even more ridiculous.

Kuznetsov was wearing Mike Green’s helmet last night.

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When Alex Ovechkin scored his 20th goal of the season — an empty-net tally in the game’s final minute — it unleashed some joking on the bench between him and fellow countryman Evgeny Kuznetsov.

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Team Russia put up a valiant effort but lost to Canada 5-4 in the World Junior Championship. Silver sucks, but they got an awesome consolation prize. The team stuck around for two days in Toronto and hung out with fellow countrymen Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov after the Caps’ morning skate Wednesday.

It looks like it was fun.

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Earlier in the evening, I noticed that Evgeny Kuznetsov was playing with more confidence. In the third period, Kuzy went from confident to downright cocky, as he passed a puck to Joel Ward through his legs.

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The first half of the season was a struggle for Evgeny Kuznetsov. Lately though, we’ve been seeing some more confidence from Kuzy during even strength. Playing Toronto on Wednesday night, Kuznetsov skated nearly the length of the ice on a 2-on-4 attack before dishing to Marcus Johansson for a beautiful, one-timer goal.

It was a delicious apple– of the Russian variety!

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Jack Hillen continues to have the worst luck. In the second period, with the Caps up 1-0, the team gave up what might be the dumbest goal of the season. As Hillen and Mike Green went for a loose puck along the team’s offensive blue line, they collided hard. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov completed the hockey bowling metaphor by crashing on top their fallen bodies.

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If there’s one person who’s excited for this year’s Winter Classic, it’s Alex Ovechkin. The Russian machine went nuts on Instagram this morning, posting a bunch of photos and dizzying video before their 11:30am practice.

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Because EPIX loves us, they dedicated an entire segment of episode two focusing on Alex Ovechkin‘s unique personality, on display at a Washington Wizards game!

Sitting in extravagant courtside seats, EPIX paints a picture of just how non-extravagant this scene is. “Ovechkin prefers the front row than a luxury suite,” Not-Liev Schreiber says softly. “With no interest from hiding from the crowds or having someone else bring him what he wants.”

It’s at that very moment when we see Ovechkin pop up the Verizon Center stairs solo with a very important mission.

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Photo: @Ovi8

Do Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, and Orlov realize Burakovksy isn’t– like– Russian? What is going on here? I have so many questions. I just hope they feed him.

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