Evgeny Kuznetsov a game-time decision vs. Canucks due to ‘maintenance’

Kuznetsov a game-time decision vs. Canucks due to ‘maintenance’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

ARLINGTON, Va. — Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov missed morning skate Monday for the “maintenance” of an undisclosed injury and will be a game-time decision for their contest against the Vancouver Canucks, according to a team spokesperson.

Head coach Peter Laviolette didn’t elaborate on the nature of the injury in his press conference but indicated it wasn’t something Kuznetsov picked up in Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

“Nothing per se against Montreal,” Laviolette said. “Just stuff we’re dealing with. Inside the meetings today we’ll make a decision.”

Kuznetsov, 30, has no goals and one assist over his first three games. Laviolette moved him off both the first line and top power play unit following the Capitals’ 0-2 start, breaking him and Alex Ovechkin up after the pair played together for most of last season.

Kuznetsov then played 16:56 of ice time against Montreal without a shot on goal, though he did pick up the primary assist on an Anthony Mantha goal in the second period.

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“I thought everybody was a little bit better last game,” Laviolette said. “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, so I thought it was better last game for all of us. And we’ll look to take more steps tonight.”

Puck drop between the Capitals and Canucks is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena. Darcy Kuemper (1-1, 2.55 GAA) is expected to be in net for Washington with Thatcher Demko (0-2, 3.64) going for Vancouver.

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