By Ian Oland
Here’s how a few things ended. It’s just one goal, but it’s a good one. Good enough to end a game, a series, a slump, and a curse.
The author: Evgeny Kuznetsov, he of seven goals in twelve games. Assisting him, Alex Ovechkin, who will see the conference finals for the first time in his playing career.
Here’s how the Capitals beat the Penguins.
KUZY’S GAME WINNER IN OT!! #ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/HfYXfHMKYy
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 8, 2018
In a word, simply. Alex Ovechkin has a head of steam, but Kuznetsov has open ice. Ovechkin chips the puck up, and Kuznetsov lets muscle memory take over.
A wristshot puts the puck through Matt Murray’s five hole as PPG Paints Arena falls silent but for the sound of a handful of cheering players wearing white.
Kuznetsov performs his bird celebration, which doesn’t work with the tone of this sportswriting, so let’s skip over that.
He’s soon joined by Ovechkin, then Orlov, then Niskanen and Stephenson and Holtby and the rest of the 2017-18 Washington Capitals, who have done what their club has not done in two decades.
When asked about his accomplishment, Kuznetsov spoke of his teammates. “When you miss the one player, one of your best players, you try to regroup to play for him,” he told Pierre McGuire. “First overall, we play for Tom Wilson. He got suspended. He’s a huge player for us.It remind me of last year when Sid doesn’t play that game and they beat us. It kinda happen to us tonight.”
With Wednesday’s tentative Game Seven now moot, the Caps will have at least two days to regroup, though that didn’t mean much to Kuznetsov.
“My wife is on vacation. It doesn’t matter if I’m here.”
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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