With less than a minute remaining in the second period on Saturday, Alex Ovechkin scored the go-ahead goal on the power play on a play that was all set up by Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov was to set that play thanks to a cheeky trick he pulled on the Columbus Blue Jackets.
After jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the Caps saw the Columbus Blue Jackets score twice in the second period to tie the game. With all the momentum now with Columbus and the clock ticking down in the second period, the Caps had a chance to retake control with a later power play opportunity. Nicklas Backstrom lost the initial faceoff which should have allowed Columbus the opportunity to kill off most of the rest of the period, but instead Kuznetsov was able to get the puck back.
How? It looked like a perfect read of the Blue Jackets' penalty kill, but it was actually much simpler than that.
Columbus defenseman David Savard had the puck in the corner and tried to pass the puck behind the net, but Kuznetsov was there so quickly off the faceoff, it looked like he knew it would be there. With the puck, the Caps were able to set up the power play and Ovechkin scored a critical goal to put the Caps up 3-2 late in the second.
Craig Laughlin broke the play down on the broadcast.
He may not have gotten an assist on the play, but Kuznetsov set the entire play up with his beautiful read and quick action to get behind the net to intercept the pass.
Only that's not what happened.
"I actually call it, for the puck," Kuznetsov told the media after the game.
You can see from the replay, Savard never looks where he is passing the puck until after it has left his stick. It goes right to the waiting Kuznetsov.
Yes, Savard fell for one of the oldest tricks in the book. Kuznetsov's quick thinking helped the Caps retake the lead and earn an important win over the division-leading Blue Jackets.