Kuznetsov fu­els Caps past Ve­gas

Scores once, sets up Ovechkin twice, Back­strom once

The Star Democrat - - SPORTS -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Evgeny Kuznetsov con­tin­ued his dom­i­nance against the Ve­gas Golden Knights, scor­ing a goal and as­sist­ing on three more as part of a 5-2 Washington Cap­i­tals vic­tory Wed­nes­day night in a re­match of last sea­son’s Stan­ley Cup Fi­nal.

Kuznetsov as­sisted on two goals by Alex Ovechkin and one by Nick­las Back­strom and scored his own on the power play. The lead­ing scorer in the Cup Fi­nal with eight points in five games, Kuznetsov has seven points through the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons’ first three games of the reg­u­lar sea­son.

Com­ing off a 49-goal sea­son and a Conn Smythe Tro­phy as play­off MVP, Ovechkin has four goals in three games. The 610th and 611th goals of his ca­reer put him in sole pos­ses­sion of 17th on the NHL’s ca­reer list, pass­ing Bobby Hull.

Braden Holtby, who made “the save” with his stick in Game 2 of the Fi­nal, stopped 29 of 31 shots and bailed out his team­mates dur­ing an es­pe­cially sloppy se­cond pe­riod. Holtby al­lowed goals to Cody Eakin in the se­cond pe­riod and Reilly Smith in the third.

Ve­gas goal­tender Mar­cAn­dre Fleury, who wanted to start this game in­stead of fac­ing his for­mer team in Pitts­burgh on Thurs­day night, al­lowed four goals on 28 shots. His team­mates hit the post a hand­ful of times and went 0 for 3 on the power play and are 0 for 11 so far this sea­son.

The Golden Knights fell to 1-3-0 at the be­gin­ning of their se­cond sea­son. They didn’t lose their third game in their in­au­gu­ral sea­son un­til Hal­loween when they started 8-3-0.

Notes: T.J. Oshie sealed the Cap­i­tals’ vic­tory with an empty-net goal with 1:55 re­main­ing, spark­ing chants of “back-to-back.” ... Washington D Brooks Or­pik re­turned early in the se­cond pe­riod af­ter tak­ing a big hit from Wil­liam Car­rier and land­ing awk­wardly in the first . ... Ve­gas C Paul Stastny will miss at least the next two games with a lower-body in­jury. Coach Ger­ard Gal­lant said Stastny will be re-eval­u­ated when the team re­turns home over the week­end af­ter this road trip . ... Washington D Michal Kempny made his sea­son de­but af­ter miss­ing the first two games with a sus­pected con­cus­sion . ... F Dmitrij Jaskin made his Cap­i­tals de­but af­ter they claimed him off waivers from St. Louis.


Cap­i­tals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) cel­e­brates his goal dur­ing the se­cond pe­riod of Wed­nes­day night’s game against Ve­gas.

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