Evgeny Kuznetsov is “day-to-day” with an upper-body injury after he left Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights, coach Barry Trotz said Thursday.
In the first period of the Capitals’ 3-2 victory on Wednesday, Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb delivered a hip check to slam Kuznetsov against the glass. The Russian grabbed his left arm and did not return.
If Kuznetsov is unavailable for Saturday’s Game 3, that would be a major blow to the Capitals.
Kuznetsov leads the team in points this postseason with a franchise-record 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists).
“He’s a heck of a player with a pretty unique skillset,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “We have a little bit of a different look if he can’t play. He’s been playing really well for us. We’ll see if he’s ready to go for Game 3 or not, but we’ll cross that bridge when it comes.”
“He’s been our best player in the playoffs so far,” center Nicklas Backstrom said. “That’s tough.”
The Capitals will hold an optional skate on Friday and a morning skate on Saturday before Game 3.