The Washington Capitals ended their three-game losing streak Thursday night against the Florida Panthers, but they weren’t necessarilly all smiles after the game.
Midway through the third period, Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was centering the team’s first line with Alex Ovechkin, suffered a left-leg injury and was forced to leave the game. His status is unknown headed into the All-Star Break.
Here's a look at what happened to Kuznetsov.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) January 26, 2018
Kuznetsov suffered the injury after a taking a defensive-zone face-off against Jared McCann.
As McCann drove towards the net, Kuznetsov placed his left skate on the top of the Panthers player’s boot, causing his groin to stretch and his legs to go into a half split.
Kuznetsov was in immediate pain. It took the Capitals center 30 seconds of game time before he could get up and leave the ice. He would need assistance from the Caps training staff getting down the runway.
The Capitals PR confirmed Kuznetsov suffered an injury and said the star forward would not return.
#Caps Evgeny Kuznetsov (lower body) will not return to tonight’s game.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) January 26, 2018
After the game, Barry Trotz did not have much to say.
“We won’t know tomorrow until he gets evaluated,” Trotz said when asked about the severity of Kuznetsov’s injury. “He was walking around. I don’t have a timeframe for you.”
NBC Sports Washington’s Alan May hoped the injury was merely a strain of the knee or groin and not a tear.
“After the face-off as he goes down, he steps on the player’s skate,” May said. “You’re not sure if that’s a knee, a groin, or whatever. You see how he goes across. He goes down and gets up. He can’t push on his left leg. So he uses his right skate to slowly get over to the bench. You’re just hoping it’s a strain, not a tear, not a rip. Just something minor that will heal over the All-Star Break.”
Kuznetsov is the Capitals second leading scorer (45 points) behind Alex Ovechkin (53).
The Capitals will now have another massive break (five days) between games before they take on the Philadelphia Flyers next Wednesday on national television.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.