WINNIPEG, Manitoba | Evander Kane was at a minimum modestly confident and at most prophetic, when asked Thursday morning about his success against the Capitals last season.
In four games last year, Kane had five goals and two assists.
“I was able to have some success against them last year,” he said after the Jets’ morning skate at MTS Centre. “I’m just looking forward to continuing that, hopefully, tonight.”
Did he ever. Kane scored twice in the Jets’ 4-1 victory. From Milan to Minsk – or, rather, Atlanta to Winnipeg – seven goals and two assists in five games isn’t too bad.
“I don’t know what his stats are against us, but two goals tonight, it’s pretty good – a pretty good night,” Caps defenseman Karl Alzner said. “He’s been shooting the puck well; he shoots it from out wide and gets it up pretty good.”
Against the Caps on Thursday, Kane was worth paying attention to (read: fearing) whenever he was on the ice in the offensive zone. A turnover by Marcus Johansson while trying to clear the zone got the puck to Alex Burmistrov and then to Kane. Defense was lacking in front, but Kane made a swift move and beat Michal Neuvirth with a sharp shot.
He probably should’ve scored a few minutes later when he rang one off the crossbar. But another gorgeous shot (following a turnover by Joel Ward) led to Kane’s second of the night. By the end of this performance, Kane could be called a certified Caps killer – if he wasn’t considered that already.
What makes him so good against Washington?
“It beats me. I have no idea,” Alzner said. “He was a goal-scorer in junior and I think he’s just got the touch and, I don’t know, likes playing against the Caps. It’s too bad.”
Too bad, also, that Kane and the Southeast Division-rival Jets face the Caps five more times this season – including a visit to Verizon Center next week.