Big Guns Fire Away: Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alex Ovechkin Even Up Score After Capitals Go Down 2-0 In Must-Win Game 4

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The Washington Capitals entered Game 4 of their first round 2020 Stanley Cup Playoff Series against the New York Islanders with their postseason lives on the line, down 3-0 in the series, with their star center Nicklas Backstrom still out due to Concussion protocol, after a hit from New York’s Anders Lee in Game 1. The Caps got off to a slow start by falling behind 2-0, but two of Washington’s biggest names stepped up when needed most to even the score.

Trailing 2-0 in a game that Head Coach Todd Reirden pledged would be “the best effort of the year“, Center Evgeny Kuznetsov got the puck rolling with an early, second period tally. Gaining control of the puck nearly in his own end, Kuznetsov weaved his way up ice and into the offensive zone, around an Islanders defender, and to opposing goaltender Semyon Varlamov, whom he neatly placed the puck behind to cut the Capitals’ deficit to 2-1. Defenseman John Carlson and goalie Braden Holtby were credited with assists on the play.

The goal was Kuznetsov’s third of the 2020 postseason and his 60th career playoff point (all in a Washington sweater). By recording his 60th point, Kuznetsove moved up on the franchise Playoff Points List, passing Mike Ridley. Holtby joined Don Beaupre and Al Jensen as the only other netminders in franchise history to record an assist in a postseason contest.

Less than two minutes after Kuznetsov cut the Islanders’ lead in half, Alex Ovechkin added his third playoff goal to knot the score at 2-2, on the power play on assists from Carlson and Kuznetsov. Carlson’s second assist gave him his fifth of the series, and moved him past Capitals great and former bench boss Dale Hunter for the third-most playoff assists in franchise history.

Ovechkin’s goal tied him with NHL legend Gordie Howe and Pittsburgh Penguins franchise player Sidney Crosby for 18th all-time in playoff Goals with 68 each. Ovechkin reached the mark in 22 and 33 fewer games than the former two.

The Capitals and Islanders headed into the second intermission knotted at 2-2, thanks in part to two of the Capitals’ most potent weapons.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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