Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov is one of the highest paid centers in the game and this season he’s been showing why he’s worth it nearly every night.
To begin the season, Kuznetsov set a franchise record when he became the first Capital to ever record 10 assists in the team’s first five games. Friday night in Detroit, Kuznetsov recorded a secondary assist on TJ Oshie’s last minute game-tying goal, after a brilliant passing play along with Andre Burakovsky.
There are two other Kuzy plays that I’d like to highlight. They didn’t result in goals, but were dangerous scoring chances.
In the first period, the Capitals ran a set play behind the net. The play starts with John Carlson dropping the puck for Kuznetsov skating around the team’s net. Kuzy moves the puck out of the defensive zone before dropping a pass back to Carlson. The Caps defenseman then immediately hits an in-full-stride Kuzy with a pass as he enters the Red Wings offensive zone. The rest is magic.
Kuznetsov dangles around a Red Wings defenseman before deking Petr Mrázek. If the Red Wings goaltender didn’t get his pad on the puck, Kuznetsov would have had one of the most jaw-dropping goals of the early season.
Later in the game, Kuznetsov and Orlov had their own beautiful passing play. As Orlov skated the puck into the Wings offensive zone, he hit Kuznetsov with a pass.
Orlov drove the net and the Russian center hit him with a perfect backhand pass right onto his stick.
The amount of mustard Kuznetsov put on the pass, combined with its accuracy, shows a player who is very much in the zone right now.
Headline photo: Bruce Bennett
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