Caps lose Kuznetsov but unleash Eller Effect

Brian Tinsman
May 30, 2018 - 10:15 pm

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


With five minutes to go in the first period, Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov flicked a pass up the ice and sustained a huge hit from Vegas Golden Knight Brayden McNabb. He immediately cringed and grabbed at his left wrist, skating directly over to the bench.

Caps fans held their collective breaths as the team's leading postseason scorer (25 points in 20 games, scores in 11-straight games) walked down the tunnel with trainers.

The team officially listed him as questionable to return after the first intermission, but that optimism went unanswered through the second period.

Instead, the Caps may have scored with the subsequent lineup shakeup, which saw Lars Eller move up to skate with the first line. Suffice it to say that he shined.

The Caps scored three goals to reclaim the lead going into the second intermission. Eller was involved with every point, collecting one goal (the team's first) and two assists for three points on the night.

He also took a large share of the minutes, playing 12:31, good for third-most among offensive threats in the first two periods.

Here's a look at the Eller Effect: 


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