Ilya Kovalchuk came to the Capitals with 615 points, 287 of which came on assists. The veteran forward also arrived with a sense of familiarity because of his Russian connections to countrymen Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
That chemistry gave Kovalchuk his first point as a Capital on Sunday night against Minnesota.
Kovalchuk found himself on the ice with Kuznetsov and Ovechkin when the Capitals played a puck forward with just over nine minutes left in a wild first period. With the opportunity for an odd-man rush, Kovalchuk gained possession in the neutral zone and dropped a pass to Kuznetsov. Ovechkin skated to the left wing, received Kuznetsov's pass and fired a one-timer into a wide-open net.
Kovy + Kuzy + Ovi = THAT RUSSIAN CONNECTION pic.twitter.com/FjkhKIZOz9— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 2, 2020
The goal was Ovechkin's second score of the first period and Washington's third goal in a span of 3 minutes, 38 seconds.
Ovechkin's two goals, both on one-timers, bring his career goal total to 703 — five goals behind Mike Gartner's 708-goal mark for seventh on the NHL all-time goal-scoring list.
Since the Capitals acquired Kovalchuk on Feb. 23, the veteran has played two games, appearing as the right winger on the third line and featuring on the power play.
With his first point as a Capital in the books, head coach Todd Reirden and the Capitals hope this is the start of significant production from Kovalchuk as the team heads down the stretch and into the playoffs.
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