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Laviolette Shares Update On Kuznetsov, Status For Capitals



Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov

ARLINGTON, V.A. — There was a notable absence at the Washington Capitals morning skate on Monday, as Evgeny Kuznetsov missed the skate due to maintenance and will be a game-time decision against the Vancouver Canucks.

While it’s not completely clear what exactly is going on with No. 92, head coach Peter Laviolette provided an update ahead of puck drop.

“Nothing per se against Montreal,” Laviolette said when asked if Kuznetsov was injured in Saturday’s win over the Canadiens. “Just stuff we’re dealing with with him. Inside the meeting today, we’ll make a decision [on if he’ll play against Vancouver].”

Kuznetsov has had a bit of a shaky start ot the 2022-23 campaign. He hasn’t been able to control the puck as well, and he hasn’t generated too many chances at even strength or on the power play. Prior to Saturday’s game, Washington moved Kuznetsov down to the second line and second power-play unit as the team made multiple lineup changes in hopes to ignite a spark and stop the bleeding after back-to-back losses. It worked out, as the Capitals secured a 3-1 win on Saturday while Kuznetsov also got on the board with his first assist.

“I thought everybody was a little bit better last game. We got to continue to push and so Kuzy’s gonna push, the power play’s gonna push, our 5-on-5 play’s gonna push and work to get better here,” Laviolette added. “I thought it was better last game for all of us. And we’ll look to take more steps tonight.”

READ MORE ON WHN: Washington Capitals Will See McMichael Possibly Draw In, Kuemper Start vs. Vancouver Canucks

Kuznetsov had an All-Star season last year, dishing 77 points in 78 games in what was a bounceback season following COVID-19 and on and off-ice struggles that had led to trade rumors surrounding the 30-year-old not too long ago.

If Kuznetsov doesn’t play, Connor McMichael will take his place at second-line center with Anthony Mantha and T.J. Oshie.