Evgeny Kuznetsov is officially a game-time decision ahead of Game 3 on Saturday night, Caps Coach Barry Trotz said following the morning skate.
There were, however, a few hints that seemed to suggest Kuznetsov will, in fact, suit up at Capital One Arena.
For one, the star center took his normal spot—on the first line between Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson—during line rushes at the start of the skate.
Another indication came later in the 30-minute session when Kuznetsov practiced with the first unit power play.
In the past, those two indicators have meant the player in question is indeed expected to return from injury that night.
Trotz, though, wouldn’t tip his hand, saying only that a decision on Kuznetsov will be made prior to faceoff.
Kuznetsov wasn’t saying much, either, other than he was not put into the concussion protocol following the big hip check Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb laid on him late in the first period of Game 2.
“We’ll see,” Kuznetsov said of his status. “We’ll see. It feels better every day.”
Asked when he started to feel better, “When we get that win [on Wednesday night].”
Kuznetsov also addressed the McNabb hit, saying, “It’s a hockey play…I don’t think that’s dirty, right?”
Although official word on Kuznetsov’s situation probably won’t come until pregame warmups, both Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie said they expect to see No. 92 in the lineup.
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