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Ovechkin rewrote history! No Russian has conquered such peaks

The last week turned out to be extremely rich for the Washington Capitals on events that overlapped with a very difficult trip to the West of America for the “metropolitans”. Towards the end of the tour, very strange things began to happen in the Capitals camp, which affected the team leaders. More precisely, one of them. Evgenia Kuznetsova.
Even in the match against the Vegas Golden Knights, the Russian striker watched the end of the game from the bench, and subsequently Caps head coach Spencer Carbery confirmed his dissatisfaction with Cusi’s work. Evgeniy was placed on reserve and missed the game against the Arizona Coyotes. The Washington coach explained this decision by the need to carry out a “mental reboot” for Kuznetsov. For this, Carbery even sacrificed the result of the entire team. And he turned out terrible in the game with the Coyotes: the capital received a humiliating 0:6 in the match with a team that until recently was considered the scum and main losers of the entire NHL. Moreover, five of the six goals were missed within just ten minutes of the first period. Kuznetsov, one of the Caps' main centers, witnessed this horror from the press box of the arena in Tempe.

Upon returning home, the Washington coaching staff returned Kuznetsov to the base, and the Russian was very impressed with his work in training. The decision to sign Evgeniy for the game with the Dallas Stars was made without any doubt. Kuzya himself, in his own style, did not mince words when commenting on the current situation.

"From that day on, I wanted to kill someone, but in a good way. It's hard to accept, but I trust Carbs (Carbery). I want to believe in him, and he wants to believe in me. I understand that these measures are to help me become a better person. I feel like we missed out on 15-20 points because of me, which is 20 goals. If we had scored them, we could have been among the best clubs in the league. I'm not the kind of person who will make a lot of money and stay happy when the game isn't going well. I want to play better and help the team. Yeah, being on the reserves sucks. But you need to come to terms with it and believe in the process. It was a bad, very bad day, but I agree with the coach's decision. Karbs wants to help me,” Kuznetsov told American journalists.

Kuznetsov immediately demonstrated high motivation and desire to prove his worth. For him, the game with “Dallas”, in principle, became special and an anniversary – the 700th in his career in the NHL championships. Such an important event should have happened in the match with the Coyotes, but, probably, it was even better that Kuzya celebrated it in front of his fans. In accordance with the best plots of the drama, the Russian celebrated his return to the main team and a high-profile anniversary with a goal. And how!

Evgeniy jumped out one on one with the goalkeeper and beat the Stars goalkeeper with a mocking feint. It seems that Kuzya could not just throw a shot, he needed to add color to the game moment. This is what Kuznetsov is all about. By the way, he became only the fifth player in Capitals history to score a goal in his 700th game. Before him, the same achievement was achieved by Kalle Johansson (1998/99 season), Peter Bondra (2000/01), Alexander Ovechkin (2014/15) and Tom Wilson (2023/24).

The high-profile events for Washington did not end there. In the capital of the United States (and indeed throughout the entire hockey world), they expected effective actions not only from Kuznetsov, but also from Alexander Ovechkin. The Russian was on the verge of a historical event and eventually achieved it. With an assist in the middle of the third period, when Dylan Strome scored a double and converted a problematic power play for the Caps, Ovi scored his 1,500th career point in the NHL championships. Before Alexander, even no Russian had ever dreamed of such peaks!

In the entire history of the league, Ovechkin became only the 16th player to reach this mark, and only the second among active hockey players. Ahead, of course, is his main competitor throughout his career, Sidney Crosby, who is 29 points ahead of Alexander. The two of them are racing towards places in the top 10 best scorers in NHL history, although it will be difficult for both of them to place there right away. Phil Esposito opens the top ten with 1590 points, and next comes Joe Sakic, who scored 1641 points.

But let’s not make any guesses for now and just rejoice at Ovechkin’s current achievement. In order to congratulate the Russian, the match between Washington and Dallas was even interrupted for a while and a corresponding video was played at the media cup in honor of the Russian. A classic situation for the NHL.

However, Washington did not live up to the ideal. On the one hand, Kuzya and Ovi celebrated their holidays, on the other, the Capitals did not maintain the winning score and allowed Dallas to go into overtime. At the end of it, the “capital” even received the right to play “4 on 3”, but problems with the implementation of the majority made themselves felt, which is why the winner was determined in a shootout. “Washington” has no one making accurate shots. Neither Evgeny Kuznetsov, whose signature move seems to have been figured out after all, nor Alexander Ovechkin, who traditionally does not go well with shootouts.

In the end, the defeat was 4:5. It was the Capitals' fifth in their last eight games. And in each of them Ovechkin did not score goals.

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