Washington Capitals: Ovechkin and Kuznetsov Combine for Six Points in Russia Win

Lars Eller (sigh) wasn’t the only Washington Capitals player to have a great game in a shutout win for their country.

Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov combined for six points in a big 10-0 win for Team Russia over Italy on Wednesday. Kuznetsov had himself a pair of goals and assists while Ovechkin scored his first goal in the preliminary round and added an assist.

First Team Russia went up 2-0 on goals from Nikita Zaitsev of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dinar Khafizullin.

Then at 13:15, Kuznetsov got the scoring party started for the Capitals Russian dynamic duo. It was a one-timer goal right in front of the net on a pass from Alexander Barbanov near the back of the goal line behind Italian goalie Andreas Bernard.

Kuznetsov found Ovechkin all the way cross-ice near his office. Of course it was a signature Ovechkin one-timer. The goal came at 16:114 of the first period to give Russia a 4-0 lead.

“Scoring my first goal is just like ticking a box,” Ovechkin told the media after the game. “I’ve done it, we’ll move on. What more can I say.”

Then it was not only the dynamic duo but the Capitals Russian trio getting in on the fifth goal of the game. Orlov dished it to Ovechkin near the Italy bench and found a charging Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov finished the breakaway five-hole 18 seconds into the second period.

Kuznetsov wasn’t done yet. He flung a nifty pass to Ilya Kovalchuk of the Los Angeles Kings to extend Team Russia’s lead to 6-0.

Russia added two more goals in the second period from Evgeni Dadonov of the Florida Panthers and Mikhail Grigorenko and two more in the third with another from Dadonov and a goal from Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov to complete the 10-0 romp.

“Of course, a win like this lifts our confidence,” added Ovechkin. “But mostly I felt a bit sorry for the Italians tonight. They battled hard, they are good guys, but the different skill levels was immediately apparent.”

Team Russia improves to 4-0 in Group B play. Their next game is on Saturday against Latvia. Jakub Vrana, Dmitrij Jaskin and the Czech Republic are in action today at 2 p.m. eastern time. If you want a potential glimpse of the future, you can catch Capitals prospect Mathias Bau look to step up in Lars Eller’s absence in their game against Finland also at 2 on the NHL Network.