On Tuesday night T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the sight of Game 2 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final between the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals, it was a chance for the Golden Knights to take a commanding 2 -0 lead in the series but it was also an opportunity for the Washington Capitals to tie things up before getting two games in front of their home crowd.
If you were just looking at the scoreboard after the first period you would get the impression that both teams would be relatively content with where things stand, tied at one goal a piece, but that is not at all true for the Washington Capitals. Roughly fifteen minutes into the first period Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov was on the receiving end of a questionable hit from Las Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Brayden Mcnabb, a hit that caused Kuznetsov to leave the game.
As Kuznetsov was skating up the ice with the puck and looking to make a play into the Las Vegas Golden Knights zone he was cut short by McNabb who delivered a thunderous hit to Kuznetsov in the neutral zone. The hit pancaked Kuznetsov onto the boards and immediately both his body language as well as the expression on his face indicated that he was feeling the effects of that impact. Kuznetsov grimaced on his way back to the Capitals bench although he did so slowly while hunched over and clutching at his arm which hung limply at his side.
Fans in Washington quickly took to social media to express their outrage at the hit which did appear to catch Kuznetsov high, Mcnabb's arm at the very least elevates into his face, but that doesn't seem to be what caused the injury. If the injury is at it appears to be to his arm, that would appear to indicate the contact with his body was the primary point of impact.
Needless to say the anger at this is understandable though, Kuznetsov has arguably been Washington's best overall player in these playoffs and is their leading scorer, him missing time would be devastating.