Capitals sound off ahead of return of Evgeny Kuznetsov

He makes his return to Capital One Arena tonight.



The Washington Capitals are set to host the Carolina Hurricanes this evening at Capital One Arena, and it will mark the return of forward Evgeny Kuznetsov to the venue that he called home for over a decade that included winning the Stanley Cup in 2018. 

And with five points in the nine games that he's stacked up since joining the Hurricanes, his former team is happy for his newfound success. 

"I'm happy for him and that he's landed on his feet, and I think that was the objective. You would've loved for it to be the fairytale ending of Kuzy being able to play here for years to come and retire as a Capital. Sometimes it doesn't work out that way," head coach Spencer Carbery said. "For him and not as a hockey player, but as a human being, he needed to get a fresh start and leave this environment. I thank that from having seen him... it's positive."

For Kuznetsov, it was a difficult season for him, as he was placed on waivers and also went through a stint in the NHL Player Assistance Program. 

“I was never running away from the mistakes I made in the past… I learn a lot," Kuznetsov said after the trade, calling Carolina the "perfect match" for him. "Like I said, this is my last opportunity; this is my last chance. Everything is in my power right now."

But while the Capitals are focused on getting two points in the standings in order to keep their postseason hopes alive, they're happy to see Kuznetsov regain his form with Carolina. 

"Kuzy's a great guy. I loved having him here," Connor McMichael said. "He was always so fun and always bringing a lot of energy to the group."

"Kuzy had a lot of great moments here... it'll be special," Hendrix Lapierre added. "Looks like he's doing pretty well in Carolina and having fun. I think we're all happy for him."

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