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Evgeny Kuznetsov hopes to get free meal out of Alex Ovechkin after helping him pass Bobby Hull

Evgeny Kuznetsov hopes to get free meal out of Alex Ovechkin after helping him pass Bobby Hull

The historical milestones of Alex Ovechkin have become so numerous, not all of them seem to register anymore as headline news. Once he hit 600 goals, he was already in elite company. Now each name he passes on the NHL’s all-time goals list is just further proof of how incredible a scorer he is.

A good example was Wednesday’s win over the Vegas Golden Knights in which Ovechkin scored career goals No. 610 and 611 to pass Bobby Hull for sole possession of 17th place. And yet, Ovechkin wasn’t even the story of the game. 

One person who was excited, however, was Evgeny Kuznetsov.

“That’s free meal for me,” he said to reporters after the game.

Kuznetsov had an assist on both of Ovechkin’s goals Wednesday and was excited about the possibility of cashing in after helping Ovechkin reach another milestone.

But it’s a good thing Kuznetsov was asked about it because he did not know Ovechkin had passed Hull until he was told.

Like the rest of us, Ovechkin’s incredible exploits have become so numerous, it’s hard to keep track of them all. His milestone goals feel almost commonplace at this point, but his greatness never does.

“I not even know about that, but I'm pretty sure that's free meal for us,” Kuznetsov said. “He hit the milestone every 10 games. It's pleasure to play with him. You may not understand right now but when you get older, you understand what kind of guy he is. And he's one of the best players in probably whole history, right, and he's gonna be in the Hall of Fame and maybe one of those pictures in Hall of Fame I'm gonna be somewhere around him just after we score.”

Kuznetsov better enjoy his meal because it could take a while before he gets his next one.

Ovechkin now sits 14 goals away from Jarome Iginla and Joe Sakic, both of whom sit tied for 15th with 625 goals. He also sits 29 goals away from No. 14 Dave Andreychuk and 45 away from No. 13 Brendan Shanahan.

Knowing Ovechkin though, it probably won’t take him as long to reach those players as you might think.

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3 things to watch in Caps vs. Panthers

3 things to watch in Caps vs. Panthers

The Capitals play their last home game of October on Friday as they host the Florida Panthers (7 p.m., NBC Sports Washington). Here’s what you need to watch.

Dmitrij Jaskin is back in

Todd Reirden has made one adjustment to the lineup for Friday’s game, putting Dmitrij Jaskin back in on the fourth line in place of Nathan Walker. Jaskin has yet to record a point since joining the Capitals, but that has a lot to do with where he was coming from.

“This team is based on being creative and it's probably something that I missed in the last few years,” Jaskin said following Friday’s morning skate.

In St. Louis, Jaskin was coached by Mike Yeo and, before him, Ken Hitchcock. Both coaches preach a hard-nosed offensive style based more on effort and being defensively responsible than skill. Coming to a team like Washington then, a team that encourages skill and creativity on offense, is a pretty dramatic change.

Jaskin has played a very safe style since coming into the lineup. It’s good to be defensively responsible, but not if it completely chokes the life out of the offense. Jaskin is hardly generating any offense at all thus far since coming to Washington.

After a few more practices, can it finally spark some skill and creativity from Jaskin?

Can the Caps get the bottom six back on track?

The Caps have gotten only two goals in six games from their bottom six and both came in the team’s blowout opening win against Boston. The third and fourth lines generated some chances on Wednesday, but afterward, Reirden stressed that the team needed to see more production from its depth forwards.

“We've got to continue to get scoring depth wise if we want to have success in this league,” he said. “That's where everything's headed is you can't rely on your top guys to come through for you every night and we'll continue to focus on finding the right chemistry with that third and fourth line to be able to give us some added offense there as well.”

Florida could provide a good opportunity for those players to get some points on the board.

Starting goalie Roberto Luongo is out with an injury and James Reimer will get the start on Friday. In three games, Reimer has a GAA of 3.62 and save percentage of .885.

As a team, the Panthers currently rank 24th in goals against per game with 3.50.

Two teams in need of a win

Florida is still searching for its first win of the season with a 0-2-2 record. It is still early, but this is a Panthers team with playoff aspirations and you don’t want to dig yourself in too deep a hole to start or it becomes very difficult to dig out.

The Caps, meanwhile, will be playing in their final home game of October. They leave Saturday for Vancouver to kick-off a three-game Western Canada trip. They then will face the Canadiens in Montreal on Nov. 1 before finally returning home.

Washington’s next home game will not come until Nov. 3. That makes Friday’s game a big one for the Caps as they try to secure two points before hitting the road.

“It's definitely a big game,” Reirden said. “We want to build on some of the things we were able to accomplish last game. It's difficult anytime you go out west with time changes and different stuff. We know that [Florida is] going to be a desperate team that hasn't had the start that they want and they're talented so it's an important game for us to go on the road on a winning note.”

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The Ovechkin's posts family photo with newborn son Sergei

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The Ovechkin's posts family photo with newborn son Sergei

Capitals star Alex Ovechkin had arguably the best summer of anyone.

In June, the Capitals won their first ever Stanley Cup, and in August, Ovechkin and his wife Nastya Ovechkina welcomed their first kid.

Although Ovechkin's son Sergei is only a couple months old, the public has not seen much of him. Both Nastya and Alex posted pictures on Instagram of Sergei's foot when he was born, but neither had posted anything of him since.

In honor of Sergei's two month birthday, Nastya posted a picture of the three of them, with Alex holding Sergei in his hands. 

While it is hard to see much of Sergei, this is one of the first pictures of the couple with their newborn present. 

What a happy family! 

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