Last season, Evgeny Kuznetsov became the first player not named Alex Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom to lead the team in points for over a decade. The start of the 2015-16 campaign was not as magical.
Kuznetsov endured long goalless streaks of 17 and 9 games. During the the first two months of the season, Kuzy managed only 9 points in 21 games.
But in December, something clicked. Kuznetsov has tallied 28 points in his last 26 games, which included the two goals he scored against the New Jersey Devils Thursday night.
10:19 into the second period, Kuznetsov scored his first goal of the game after a set play off a breakout. Dmitry Orlov found Kuznetsov as he curled around a Devils player at the red line. Kuzy sped into the zone on a breakaway and deked goaltender Keith Kincaid.
And that’s when something strange happened.
Kuznetsov lost control of the puck, but the biscuit went in anyway.
Later in the third period, Kuznetsov forced a turnover in the neutral zone and added an empty-net goal.
But after the game, all anyone wanted to talk about was Kuznetsov’s sensational and unintentional breakaway tally.
Reporter: “Did you mean to shoot that?”
Evgeny Kuznetsov: “No. Like I said, I missed the puck.”
All reporters: [laughter]
Evgeny Kuznetsov: “That not funny.” [laughs]
Kuznetsov also revealed that like many Caps fans, he believes in a higher power.
“It’s good luck and all that,” Kuznetsov said. “The hockey god maybe give me something back, finally.”
Headline photo: Andy Marlin
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