After starting the 2012-13 season on fire with goals in his first four games, Caps top prospect Evgeny Kuznetsov cooled off a bit. By that we mean that he had one lonely point in the two games following the streak. On Monday, Kuznetsov had his biggest game yet as Traktor Cheylabinsk took on Salavat Yulaev at Ufa Arena. In 14:59 TOI, Kuznetsov scored a shorthanded goal and collected two assists. It was Kuznetsov’s first three-point game since January 28th of last season.
Highlights of Traktor’s 4-1 drubbing of Salavat, including Kuznetsov’s goal that broke his stunningly-long two-game goalless streak, are under the jump.
In their third game of the 2012-13 KHL season, Traktor met Western Conference powerhouse SKA at home in Chelyabinsk. Evgeny Kuznetsov entered the game with two goals. He left with three.
Kuznetsov also tallied his first two-point performance of the year. His first point came very early in the game, as he got credit for a secondary assist on Jan Bulis‘ goal less than three minutes into the game. That goal tied the game at one. Things quickly unraveled for Traktor however, as SKA scored twice more to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
The score remained unchanged for the next 39 minutes, despite both teams trading chances (one of the biggest opportunities was a Kuznetsov breakaway denied by goaltender Ilya Yezhov). With about a minute to go in the third period, Kuznetsov finally broke through, skating the puck into SKA’s offensive zone guarded by two men. After his initial shot was blocked from the slot, Kuznetsov, out-battled three other defenders and got to the rebound first, snapping a shot past Yezhov. Kuznetsov celebrated by jumping high into the boards near center ice. Despite a late flurry, SKA, led by their netminder, managed to keep their one-goal lead and win 3-2. The game’s highlights can be seen under the jump.
Kuznetsov during the game against Kolner Haie. (Photo credit: Vitaly Gubin/HC Traktor)
Washington Capitals top prospect/prodigal son Evgeny Kuznetsov kicked off his season last week at the Chelyabinsk Region Governor’s Cup, a 4-game preseason tournament which featured two local teams (Traktor Chelyabinsk, Metallurg Chelyabinsk), two KHL teams (Avangard Omsk, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk), and one foreign team – Kolner Haie of the German DEL.
On Saturday, Kuznetsov showed why he’s one of the best players not currently in the NHL, tallying a shorthanded goal and an assist in Traktor’s 5-1 victory over Kolner Haie, a team coached by former Colorado Avalanche defenseman Uwe Krupp.
Video of Kuzya’s highlight-reel plays are below the jump.
Kuznetsov is stopped on a breakaway at 1:55. His two shootout goals can be seen at 3:45.
Taking a tenuous 2-0 lead into the third period, Traktor Cheylabinsk unraveled in the final minutes against host Avangard Omsk on Sunday. First, 4:31 into the final frame, the KHL’s leading goal-scorer, Roman Cervenka, scored on a cross-crease pass to bring Avangard within one. Then ten minutes later, Omsk’s Yegor Averin scored on a broken play in front of Traktor’s net to force overtime.
We finally have another update from Fedor Fedin. It’s been awhile, but it’s for good reason. Since the KHL is about to wrap up the first half of it’s current season, we gave Fedor the tall task of tracking down every KHL player with any Washington Capital ties and asked him to let us know how they’ve been doing – good or bad. So basically if a guy has played for the Capitals in the past (Andrei Nikolishin), played on one of our AHL Affiliated Teams (Brandon Sugden), or been drafted by the team (Dmitri Orlov), they’re on the list. We thought this was a good idea because we honestly miss some of our favorite erstwhile Caps from the past like: Viktor Kozlov, Sergei Fedorov, Richard Zednik, and Chris Simon, and thought this would be a great opportunity for everyone to get caught up. Sadly, that human-ball-of-waste known as Jaromir Jagr is on the list, too, but since he’s one of Fedor’s favorite players on Avangard Omsk, we’re going to let it slide.
Anyways, below the fold is a huge table full of stats and information on all the Former Caps in the KHL.