Monday night at Wells Fargo Center, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his first goal in 22 games. It was a gift from the Hockey Gods. Kuznetsov scored after a Justin Williams dump-in took a strange bounce off the boards. The puck ricocheted to Kuznetsov, who was skating alone towards the front of the net. Using sublime patience, Kuznetsov tucked the puck past Steve Mason’s outstretched pad, giving the Caps a back-breaking 3-1 third period lead.
Several minutes later, Kuznetsov was on the ice when he saw his friend, Dmitry Orlov, get shoved headfirst into the boards by Pierre-Édouard Bellemare. As Orlov received medical attention on the bench, a Flyers fan threw a bracelet from the stands, striking Orly in the left cheek.
In the locker room, Kuznetsov conducted a Russian-language interview with SovSport’s Natalia Bragilevskaya and spoke about how the game turned into a sideshow in the third period.
“No fan would be happy when his team is losing,” Kuznetsov said. “That’s how it happened, but it is on their conscience. Our fans have more class.”
Kuznetsov also seemed to be genuinely touched and heart-broken by the pre-game ceremony honoring Flyers owner Ed Snider.