3 Capitals players who must step up following Evgeny Kuznetsov trade

The Caps welcome Kuzy and the Canes to town Friday nigh
Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals
Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

#1 Alex Ovechkin

All eyes are back on Alex Ovechkin and for good reason. After four goals in two games the great chase is back on. Now with another good teammate gone in Evgeny Kuznetsov, the great eight has to step up more and so far he certainly has. Ovi also has five goals in his last three games and has scored in three straight games.

Ovechkin now has 23 goals and 31 assists for 54 points. He is one goal away from matching his career low which came in a COVID season that was short in the return to hockey. He had eight goals through the first 43 games and now he has 15 in his last 22.

So when the great eight heats up it's always a good thing. Even though the Caps lost on National TV, Ovechkin showed out in front of the hockey world as he and Auston Matthews each had a pair of goals. It's important down this strtch that Ovechkin continues to score.

Ovechkin now sits just 49 goals away from tying Wayne Gretzky for number one all time in goal scoring. Crazy to be typing this. Let the countdown begin.