Rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov is his third NHL games recorded his first three points of his young NHL career, adding three helpers to help lift the Washington Capitals to a 4-3 regulation win over the Vancouver Canucks. Â The win was huge for the Caps, who lost two previous games to Metropolitan Division leading Pittsburgh.
Joel Ward got Washington on the board in the first period on a wrister that was assisted by Eric Fehr and Jason Chimera. Â The Washington 10 lead would last only two minutes Jordan Schroeder put a wrister past Caps’ netminder Jaroslav Â Halak to tie it up heading into the first intermission.
Washington would blank the Canucks in the second period with two goals. Â Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL leading 45th goal of the season on the Washington power play. The Ovechkin tally snapped a four game scoreless streak for Ovechkin. Â His tally was assisted by John Carlson and Kuznetsov, which was Kuznetsov’s first NHL point of his career. Â Tom Wilson added his third tally of the season later in the second period to lift the Caps to a 3-1 lead. Â Wilson’s snap shot was assisted by Kuznetsov and Jay Beagle. Â The Caps would take the 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
As customary this season, despite a two goal lead entering the third period, poor defense allowed the Canucks to climb back in the game with two goals by Shawn Matthias and Nicklas Jensen to knot the game up at 3-3 at the 7:34 mark of the final frame. Â Mike Green scored the game winning tally at the 10:19 mark on a wrist shot fed by Nicklas Backstrom and Kuznetsov.
The victory was Washington’s second in the past seven games and drew the Capitals within one point of the Philadelphia for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Â Struggles or not, the Caps are right inthemiddle of the NHL playoff push.
Kuznetsov’s first NHL career point