WASHINGTON – When T.J. Oshie didn’t hear the goal horn, he second-guessed if he actually scored. The delayed reaction shouldn’t have been a surprise since only Oshie saw the no-look pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov behind the net and thought to himself, “How’d he just do that?”
Seeing is believing with Kuznetsov, who had three magnificent assists as the Washington Capitals slowed down the hottest team in the NHL by beating the Nashville Predators 4-1 on Friday night. Kuznetsov called it “luck,” but that was hardly the explanation for the budding star’s three-assist performance that put him in a tie for third in the league in scoring.
“I feel comfortable when we get two points,” said Kuznetsov, who has 53 assists and 20 goals for 73 points through 70 games. “I just give the puck to my (linemates) and they have to score.”
Kuznetsov makes that an easy task. He assisted on the first of Daniel Winnik’s two goals against Nashville, went behind the back to Oshie and also set up Andre Burakovsky in front. Sabres 3, Senators 1
In Buffalo, rookie Sam Reinhart had a goal and an assist and the Sabres defeated Ottawa. Blackhawks 4, Jets 0
In Winnipeg, Scott Darling made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season, Andrew Ladd scored against his former team and Chicago ended a four-game losing streak with a win over the Jets. Oilers 2, Canucks 0
In Edmonton, Cam Talbot made 40 saves for his third shutout of the season, leading the Oilers over Vancouver. Avalanche 4, Flames 3 (SO) In Calgary, Mikkel Boedker scored the only goal of the shootout, lifting Colorado past the Flames. Ducks 4, Bruins 0
In Anaheim, Frederik Andersen made 38 saves to earn his fifth career shutout in a win over Boston.
Jamie McGinn, Ryan Kesler, Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell scored for the Ducks.