Evgeny Kuznetsov scores in season debut
- Washington Capitals star Evgeny Kuznetsov didn’t need long to get on the scoresheet in his return from a drug-related suspension.
- The center scored a goal on his first shot and his second shift Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars.
- Kuznetsov, 27, usually on the first line with Alex Ovechkin, opened play Tuesday on the third line.
- He swooped in on a cross-ice pass and ripped a backhander past Stars goalie Ben Bishop at 4:49 of the first period. He didn’t do his usual bird-dance celebration.
- “That’s probably 75% of luck when you get like that,” he told NBC Sports Washington during the first intermission.
- Kuznetsov received a three-game suspension from the NHL on Sept. 14 for “inappropriate conduct.”
- The International Ice Hockey Federation had suspended him for four years for testing positive for cocaine when he played for Russia at the world championships.
- He entered the NHL/NHLPA Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program.
- After he was suspended, Kuznetsov apologized to his family, team and fans and said he would “do everything in my power to win you back with my actions both on and off the ice.”
- He got off to a good start Tuesday.
“When you’re playing hockey, you start to understand how important it is,” he told the network.
Sources & Credits: Washington Capitals, NHL, Mike Brehm, USA TODAY
NHL Highlights | Stars vs. Capitals – Oct. 8, 2019
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) October 9, 2019
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