The Washington Capitals defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in overtime via a Lars Eller two-on-one goal.
But the Capitals only got there because of a game-tying Evgeny Kuznetsov power-play goal scored late in the third period. Kuznetsov drew an “illegal check to the head” penalty on Tyler Myers that gave the Capitals the extra man.
#ALLCAPS this leads to a capitals PP. kuznetsov is not on the ice to start the PP pic.twitter.com/B3qjNOFHsi
— Capitals Replays (@capsreplays) March 12, 2022
After being hit by Myers, Kuznetsov laid on the ice writhing in pain. The Russian centerman was checked on by the team’s trainer before leaving the ice under his own power and returning to the bench. Kuznetsov was required to stay off the ice as the power play began, but the forward jumped back on the ice seconds later in a shift change, scoring his hat trick goal shortly after.
Kuzy's hat trick ties the game at three 🙌 pic.twitter.com/3kVr0irzsA
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 12, 2022
After the game, Boudreau spoke about the play and was critical of Kuznetsov.
“I was just watching it on the TV there,” Boudreau said. “He’s just a big guy and I would have to say if you know Kuznetsov, there was a bit of embellishment there, by staying down on the ice, but he couldn’t wait to get back out on the power play. It wasn’t like he was hurt.
“But Tyler was big. It wasn’t like Tyler skated into him. He sort of glided into him. He’s a big man. Sometimes it doesn’t help.”
A reporter asked Boudreau if he thought Kuznetsov should have been required to go into concussion protocol.
“Why didn’t you phone down and ask me that?” Boudreau joked. “I would have asked the ref right away. Do they still have spotters in the stands because if they do, that would have been a perfect case for a spotter I think.”
"In the third period, I thought we came out and played the way we are capable of playing and it starts with the power play. It was a great comeback in the third and great point."
🗣️ Bruce Boudreau#Canucks | @TheProvince pic.twitter.com/2JJXcU62ph
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 12, 2022
While Boudreau never coached Kuznetsov as head coach of the Capitals — the Chelyabinsk native made his NHL debut in March 2014 two years after Bruce’s tenure ended with the team — he did get to know him during Capitals development camp in 2010. Boudreau also returned to the area between coaching stints to serve as an analyst for the Capitals’ rights holder, NBC Sports Washington.
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