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Evgeny Kuznetsov describes the Caps’ Cup party and it was as epic as it looked

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USA Today

Evgeny Kuznetsov describes the Caps’ Cup party and it was as epic as it looked

The Caps had an epic party after winning the Stanley Cup and, according to Evgeny Kuznetsov,

If it looked like the Caps were having a lot of fun celebrating the first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history, it’s because they were.

In the wake of their clinching Game 5 victory over Vegas, an epic party began that lasted for several days and stretched from Vegas to Washington. Celebrating in a Vegas club, taking the Cup through the streets of Washington, swimming in fountains, it all looked like the best time ever.

But was it hard to keep the party going for as long and as hard as the Caps did?

Yes. Yes it was.

The annual NHL player media tour began Thursday with star players from around the league converging on Chicago. T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov represented the Capitals and, of course, they were asked about their Cup celebration.

Kuznetsov gave a pretty epic answer.

“We go hard … A couple days, three days, four days, we still everyone together,” he said, per Sports Illustrated’s Alex Prewitt. “I feel little bad for our wives. They was home, waiting for us, but we still celebrating together, you know? My parents, everyone. Every morning, cup of coffee, hey I’ve got to go with the team. Baseball game, wherever. Next day and next day. Finally, after like 10 days, okay, I’m out of here.”

My wife would be a little peeved too if I was out for a ten day party, but then again, I haven’t won a Stanley Cup.

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    How the Caps turned a sure loss into their first home win in under 90 seconds

    How the Caps turned a sure loss into their first home win in under 90 seconds

    WASHINGTON -- Another sloppy defensive performance looked like it would doom the Capitals, but a furious three-goal rally in the second period turned what looked like a sure defeat into a stunning 4-3 victory, their first at home this season, over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday.

    Toronto took an early lead off a short-handed goal from Kasperi Kapanen. Jonas Siegenthaler then was slow to react to a streaking Ilya Mikheyev who torched him to put the Leafs up 2-0. Jakub Vrana made it 2-1 late in the first, but Toronto looked like they had this game well in hand.

    But the Caps rallied and completely turned things around in a stretch of just 1:18 in the second period. Here's how.

    Brilliant skating by Kuznetsov

    Kuznetsov passed the puck up to the offensive blue line. A skating Carl Hagelin tapped it to John Carlson who entered the zone, pulled back and handed it off to Kuznetsov who took over.

    When Kuznetsov gets the puck there are three Maple Leaf players in front of him. He pumps the legs once and then glides in on net and somehow he is behind all three players and in alone on Michael Hutchinson.

    Kuznetsov’s speed virtually never changes during the play. There’s no frantic, choppy acceleration, just a smooth glide that allows him to skate in, wait out Hutchinson and tuck the puck around his outstretched pad all in seemingly one fluid motion.

    The forecheck pays off 11 seconds later

    T.J. Oshie beat out Morgan Rielly in a footrace for the puck in the offensive zone. He circled in the corner to protect the puck with his body from Rielly. He was able to find Nicklas Backstrom in the high slot and Backstrom snapped the puck in.

    In a period of just 11 seconds, the Caps had changed the score from 2-1 Leafs to 3-2 Caps.

    The flustered Leafs

    Momentum is a real thing. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. That was on display in the second period when the Leafs were on their heels after coughing up two quick goals. Just 18 seconds after Backstrom’s goal, Nicholas SHore was called for interference on Oshie.

    Do you know how you get two goals and draw an interference penalty in less than a minute? By keeping possession of the puck. Toronto could not get its hands on it at all until Cocy Ceci did on the penalty kill...and promptly threw the puck into the crowd on an attempted clearance from the defensive zone resulting in a delay of game penalty.

    A 5-on-3

    Ceci’s penalty came just nine seconds after Shore was booked resulting in a two-man advantage for 1:51. The Caps were too hot at that point to not convert. The power play moved the puck very effectively and, critically, managed to retain possession after every shot. The Leafs just could not get there in time to clear it allowing the Caps to take their time, set things up and attack.

    The power play shifted with Carlson making his way over to the Ovechkin spot. Ovechkin was fed the puck at the point, faked the slap shot and instead tapped the pass over to Carlson. Carlson did his best Ovechkin impression and fired the one-timer past Hutchinson. That goal made the score 4-2 and capped off an incredible 1:18 stretch in which the Caps turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead, thus ultimately snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Toronto would score a late goal in a comeback attempt but ultimately fell short.

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    Capitals score three goals in 90 seconds to take the lead over Toronto

    Capitals score three goals in 90 seconds to take the lead over Toronto

    The beginning of Wednesday's clash with the Maple Leafs was not pretty for the Capitals.

    A pair of goals by Toronto gave them an early lead midway through the first period. But a snipe by Jakub Vrana towards the end of the first frame cut the deficit in half entering the first intermission.

    But during the second period, all of a sudden, a switch flipped for the Capitals attack. Washington found the back of the net three times in under 90 seconds, turning a one-goal deficit into a two-goal lead.

    The first came from Evgeny Kuznetsov, who finished with a beautiful move to sneak the puck past Maple Leafs' goalie Michael Hutchinson's glove.

    Just 11 seconds later, Nicklas Backstrom found the back of the net on a beautiful wrister from T.J. Oshie to put the Capitals ahead.

    To complete the trifecta, John Carlson's one-timer from Alex Ovechkin went right in between Hutchinson's legs, giving the Capitals a 4-2 lead. 

    At the end of the second period, the Capitals hold the same 4-2 lead. Just 20 minutes separate the Capitals from their fourth victory of the season.

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