Evgeny Kuznetsov Scores Unlikely Goal in Final Minute

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The Capitals sort of played a stinker against the Boston Bruins. There was precious little to enjoy about the game: a couple flashy saves by Braden Holtby, Jason Chimera crashing the net, maybe Ian rocking the spandex with the Brouwer Rangers. Thanks to the game’s final minute, we can add one more to that list: Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s stinger of a goal.

Seemingly defeated by Carl Soderberg’s insurance goal with seven minutes left, the Caps struggled to put together any kind of offensive push in the closing minutes of rego. Troy Brouwer made one such push, but the Bruins D tied him up. That play looked like it would fizzle like so many others against Boston.

Enter the New Guy.

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Evgeny Kuznetsov

Photo: Chris Gordon

The Washington Capitals spent about 20 minutes Thursday morning posing for pictures with cute animals, both domestic and wild, and then proceeded to a grueling practice session featuring something that looked suspiciously like a bag skate.

After almost an hour and a half on the ice, the players started trickling in to the locker room. Some of the guys, though, stayed on the ice a bit longer, including Dmitry Orlov, Mikhail Grabovski, and the latest addition to the Capitals roster, Evgeny Kuznetsov. The Russian-speaking troika remained on the ice, enjoying a game of King of the Hill on the center circle.

Finally, the Russian rookie and his buddies made their way to their locker room stalls, where he patiently answered RMNB’s questions until no stone was left unturned in the first chapter of what hopefully will be Kuzya’s long tenure in a red jersey with #92 on the back.

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This illustration will make sense at the bottom. I promise.

By all accounts, Evgeny Kuznetsov’s move to North America has been a success, both on and off the ice. Eight games in, the young Russian has managed a three assist game, scored twice in the shootout, and on Tuesday night scored his first NHL goal.

Kuzya has surprised us with his command of English and his willingness to interact with the media despite of limited language skills. Also, let’s not forget Zhenya’s love of social media, especially Instagram. Imagine how boring our lives would be without his baby pictures and Ovi doing pushups. So what if the captions are in Russian.

Google Translate is on the case.

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Photo: @a0gr8

His mother Tatyana won two Olympic gold medals in basketball for Team Russia, so Alex Ovechkin has always had a love for the sport. He’s gone to Dynamo basketball games. He’s been featured playing basketball (shirtless, of course) with his friends in his DVD. He’s even shot around with BFF Nicky Backstrom during one of Bruce Boudreau’s press conferences.

On Wednesday night, on his day off, Ovechkin took fiancee Maria Kirilenko and his new best bud in the whole wide world, Evgeny Kuznetsov, to the Wizards/Suns game at Verizon Center.

It appears they had fun.

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With forty-five seconds left in regulation and the Washington Capitals shorthanded and sans a goalie, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored one of the biggest goals of the season. Certainly the biggest of his career– seeing as it was his first. After Alex Ovechkin unleashed a rushed shot from the point, Kuzya did the dirty work in front of the net, backhanding the loose puck past Jonathan Quick. Game tied 4-4.

The goal set off a wild celebration among fans and players– with the exception of one guy, who had some captainly duties to perform.

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Photo: @kuzya92

Approximately 49.31 percent of all RMNB traffic comes from players making funny faces: Chimera, Ovechkin, Oates. If a Capital player has made a dumb face, we’ve covered it. We’re the Walter Cronkite of talking about people looking stupid.

Tuesday night, after Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his first NHL goal, he whipped out his iPhone and posed with bro Dmitry Orlov. For those of you counting at home, that’s two (2) Russians making funny faces.

Pageview jackpot? Pageview jackpot.

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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!

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A very low-res photo of Angry Maria.

When we last shared a motor vehicle with Alex Ovechkin, he was putting his mobile device in Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s face while the prospect drove them to Verizon Center. While we noted that Ovechkin’s video was funny, it was also, ya know, pretty dangerous.

On Sunday, as Ovechkin’s fiancee Maria Kirilenko drove Ovechkin and Kuznetsov back to their Virginia home, the Russian machine whipped out his iPhone and started recording again. Seeing as the Capitals week-long road trip was finally over and five out of six standings points were earned, it probably seemed like a good time for more funny faces.

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After recording a brilliant assist on Joel Ward‘s game-tying goal in the third period, Evgeny Kuznetsov (who now has four assists in four games) took his first career shootout attempt.

Kuznetsov, who scored like half of his KHL goals on breakaways, looked comfortable in the role.

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After defeating the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, head coach Adam Oates gave the team the day off on Wednesday. That means the Washington Capitals were let loose in Los Angeles, California. While some players hung out by the pool, others — like the Russian trio of Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov — went shopping.

It went about how you would expect.

First, they rode in a cab together, which is a photo opportunity, I guess. iPhones out!

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