Two western series have been completely flipped on their head and more from Monday night’s set of playoff action.
Caps forward Tom Wilson missed 16 games due to suspension to start the season, but since he returned on November 13 he’s been unbelievably hot, and yes, I regret typing that but it’s too late now.
On Saturday, with a lovely layup goal facilitated by Evgeny Kuznetsov, Wilson climbed into a three-way tie for second place in goals among the Caps — even though he’s played many fewer games than his competition.
It’s Karl Alzner‘s second time back at
Verizon Center Capital One Arena, and I guess he’s not used to being the visitor yet. After he slashed delicate golden child Andre Burakovsky in the first period, Alzner appeared confused as to which team’s penalty box his grizzled, British Columbian heinie was supposed to sit in.
With six goals in the first 25 games of the season, Evgeny Kuznetsov had struggled to find his scoring touch this fall. But as winter approaches, Kuznetsov has broken out all by himself with three skillful goals thanks to quality individual plays in his last two games. Kuznetsov and his linemates, Jakub Vrana and TJ Oshie, were the team’s best trio in Saturday’s narrow 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Kuznetsov beat fellow Russian and last year’s Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky with a supreme effort as he flew into the offensive zone, collected a pass from Oshie, tapped the puck to John Carlson, and snaked around three Columbus defenders. He finished it off with a flick of the wrists to hit the top shelf of the net as a helpless Bobrovsky dove to catch up.
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