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Tarik's 3 stars: Caps win over Florida, but lose Kuznetsov

Tarik's 3 stars: Caps win over Florida, but lose Kuznetsov

Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist and Evgeny Kuznetsov notched a pair of helpers to lift the Caps to a 4-2 victory over the Panthers in Sunrise, Fla. on Thursday night.

With the victory, Washington, which recorded a season-high 46 shots on goal, ended a three-game slide and entered the All-Star break with some momentum. But the team also headed into the three-day hiatus with some concern for Kuznetsov, who suffered an undisclosed injury midway through the third period and did not return. There was no further update provided by the team.

RELATED: STILL THINKS OVECHKIN'S A SELFISH PLAYER? 500 CAREER ASSISTS SHOULD MAKE YOU RECONSIDER

Tarik’s three stars of the game:

1-Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

How could you go with anyone else? Ovi scored goal No. 30 in the second period to tie the score 2-2.

With the goal, Ovechkin became the 10th player to record 13 different 30-goal seasons. Ovechkin also earned assist No. 500 on Nicklas Backstrom’s power play tally in the first period, making him the second player in franchise history to reach the plateau (Backstrom entered the game with 568 assists).

2-Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals

Kuznetsov had two assists, marking his first multi-point game in 13 contests. The performance came a day after Coach Barry Trotz said he needed more from No. 92. Points and consistency, however, aren’t the biggest issues for Kuznetsov at the moment.

MORE CAPITALS: TROTZ WANTS TO SEE KUZNETSOV PROVE HIM WRONG

3-Brett Connolly, Capitals

Connolly’s 13th goal of the season, on the power play, put the Caps ahead 4-2 early in the third period.

No. 10 now has four goals in the last five games and is two goals away from matching the career-high he established last season.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

Believe it or not, this isn't the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup

In what is perhaps the most unexpected Stanley Cup Final pairing in recent memory, the Washington Capitals and the Las Vegas Golden Knights are going to make history this year.

Either it is going to be the first expansion team to win a title in their first season, or it will be a team looking to end a 27-year title drought for one of the biggest cities in the United States.

But what it will not be is the first D.C. vs. Vegas postseason matchup.

Going even farther back than the Capitals last Stanley Cup appearance (1998), the Georgetown Hoyas and UNLV Rebels met in the 1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Sin City took the first, and up until now, the only postseason bout between these two cities. The Larry Johnson-led University of Las Vegas squad powered right past the Hoyas in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.

[D.C. sports and Second Rounds, I know right?]

Coming fresh off the NCAA title in 1990, UNLV waltzed right to the Final Four before meeting their demise against Duke. It also ended up being the last game for Dikembe Mutombo in a Georgetown uniform.

While in all likely-hood this will not be the final game/ series for Alex Ovechkin rocking the red, it may be his last and only chance for him to play this far into a postseason.

In the past two seasons, Vegas has gone from zero professional teams to having a Stanley Cup contender, a WNBA franchise, and lined up to take over the Oakland Raiders in 2020. 

Now time for the Golden Knights' Cinderella story to come up a little bit short. 

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