Evgeny Kuznetsov is a healthy scratch

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

A big new development is surrounding the Washington Capitals ahead of their game tonight against the Arizona Coyotes. Following the very optional morning skate, Caps head coach Spencer Carbery told the media that his center Evgeny Kuznetsov will be a healthy scratch calling it a “mental reset”, per Bailey Johnson of The Washington Post.

This is the first time Kuznetsov will be a healthy scratch since May 3, 2021 when him and then goaltender Ilya Samsonov were scratched due to being late for a team function. They also ended up in COVID protocol. Tonight would’ve been Kuznetsov’s 700th career NHL game.

During the Caps loss on Saturday night to the Vegas Golden Knights, Kuznetsov skated for just 15 minutes and 20 seconds which was a season low. He was benched late in the game.

Kuznetsov had a plus minus of negative three in the game before against the Anaheim Ducks. He has also struggled with one point in his last six games which was a goal in last Monday’s loss to the San Jose Sharks.

Kuznetsov was on the ice for the optional skate. Also in attendance was Matthew Phillips, Alex Alexeyev, Lucas Johansen, Charlie Lindgren, Hunter Shepard, Aliaksei Protas, Joel Edmundson, Rasmus Sandin, Nicolas Aube Kubel, and Hendrix Lapierre.

Carbery said that Darcy Kuemper will start in goal tonight. The forward lines will likely be:

Ovechkin-Strome-Wilson

Protas-McMichael-Mantha

Milano-Lapierre-Protas

Malenstyn-Dowd-NAK

There’s no telling how long Kuznetsov will be a healthy scratch for. He’s been the subject of trade rumors two years ago as well as last summer. Before the season he had an explosive tell all interview with a Russian outlet where he ripped his ex coach Peter Laviolette as well as said some choice words about NHLPA and his fellow teammates that got traded.

Washington Capitals vs. Arizona Coyotes: Date, Time, Betting Odds, Streaming, More. light. More

Tonight’s game starts at 9 p.m. eastern on Monumental Sports Network. The Caps are 2-2-0 on the five game road trip with tonight being the finale.