With 10:35 remaining in the third period, Rangers forward Ryan Spooner blazed down the right wing and beat Braden Holtby, giving New York a late 2-1 lead. The Capitals had been buried in shot attempts for the first two periods of the game, but that goal appeared to light a fire under the Caps.
Washington came at Henrik Lundqvist in waves until Lars Eller, the extra attacker, tied the game with 1:05 left in the third period. Eller won a battle for space in front of the net, roofing the puck past the King. Later in overtime, Evgeny Kuznetsov skated around all three Rangers skaters on the ice and slung a shot past Lundqvist for the game winner.
The goal gave the Capitals their ninth win in their last ten games.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 29, 2018
The entire sequence of Kuznetsov’s goal was just an elite hockey play. Kuzy:
Here’s another look.
Kuznetsov extended his right glove into the air to celebrate as his teammates spilled off the bench and mobbed him on the ice.
After the game, Kuznetsov spoke about his thought process while circling in the Rangers zone.
“I want a go one-on-one so badly over there,” Kuznetsov said of his OTGWG. “I know we play for quite a while, gotta save the puck. I did the pull up. No one come at me, those guys probably tired a little bit too. I don’t know what happened with me, I decided to shoot. But that ended up working pretty nice. It feels nice for sure.”
The goal was Kuznetsov’s 25th of the season – a career high.
“I don’t care about that,” Kuznetsov said. “As long as my team win. All those goals it’s nice for my family. It’s nice after a game when you come back home and you look a couple times, but then like, you know, next game.”
The Russian center decided to be selfish and shoot instead of dish to the team’s leading goalscorer, Alex Ovechkin. Kuznetsov, who has over-passed or not been aggressive enough at times, called his own number, but admitted that’s against his nature.
“For me, I would love to have empty net at end of season, then (have someone else) score a goal you know? For me, that’s how my father teach me and how my whole coaches when I grown up teach me. You better to give your partner empty netter than you score it. It’s in my heart.”
The biggest success of the interview happened when Kuznetsov stopped himself from cursing while trying to explain how he keeps confidence during down times. After stammering for a few seconds, Kuznetsov got real with the press.
“I can’t swear anymore, you know?” Kuznetsov said. “Sergey get pissed at me.”
Oh well. Nice try!
— Joe Kurnos (@joekurnos) March 29, 2018
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