Friday night, the Caps and Hurricanes traded leads all night long, forcing a shootout to determine the victor. That ended up being bad news for the Canes.
Barry Trotz sent out TJ Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov consecutively. Both players scored, ending the skills competition a round early.
While the Washington Capitals lost their third straight game Saturday night, there were positives to take out of their matchup with the Tampa Bay Lightning, as they peppered 35 shots on net, scored their first goal in over 109 minutes of play, and managed to pick up a point.
And then there was Evgeny Kuznetsov’s shootout goal.
Reader Fred E was apparently at Wednesday’s preseason game in Raleigh, and he’s got compelling video to prove it. The Capitals lost 4-3 to the Hurricanes, but in the effort they showed off more shootout skills from summer supplement TJ Oshie.
Oshie, as you may already know, is jokes.
Even though Evgeny Kuznetsov is goalless in his last 12 games and scoreless in his last seven, he’s been dangerous lately every time he’s had the puck on his stick. On Wednesday night, the Capitals’ debonair dangler deked Oilers goaltender Viktor Fasth onto his rear and scored a most beautiful shootout goal.
(Someone had to do some paralyzing since Matt Hendricks didn’t get an attempt.)
Photo: Alex Brandon
While Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is one of the greatest natural goal scorers of all-time, he’s never been lights out in the shootout. In his career, Ovechkin has connected on 30.2% of his shots, which is less effective than Nicklas Backstrom, Eric Fehr, Brooks Laich, and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
This season, new bench boss Barry Trotz has utilized Ovechkin in the clean-up spot, having him shoot only if a shootout is tied after three rounds. On Saturday, to change the bad juju after two straight shootout losses, Trotz let assistant coach and always-dour-human-being Blaine Forsythe pick the third shooter.
He went with the Russian machine. It paid off.
He’s good. He knows it. (Photo: Chris Gordon)
When the Washington Capitals drafted Jakub Vrana with the 13th overall pick, many wondered if the Caps were reaching. Vrana, the U18 World Championship’s best scorer, was called selfish by some scouts. Others said his play away from the puck could use some work.
After tonight, we know one thing for sure: the Czech has a sick pair of hands.
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