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NHL - US Sports: Capitals have playoff belief

After beating the Florida Panthers 4-2 in game one of the Eastern Conference First Round, forward Evgeny Kuznetsov said the Washington Capitals believe in their ability to enjoy Stanley Cup success.

(This article was originally published on 05.05.2022) 

The Capitals, 28/1 to be crowned Champions in 2021/22, rallied from 2-1 down to defeat the Panthers on Tuesday with Kuznetsov scoring the game-tying goal at 8.14 in the third period.

Capitals show character

Washington came into the series against the Presidents' Trophy winners as the fourth seed from the Metropolitan Division (44-26-12), giving up home ice advantage to the Panthers.

That, though, won't worry the team from DC who had an NHL best .683 points-percentage away from home (25-10-6).

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Kuznetsov talks up belief

After Kuznetsov's equaliser at Florida's FLA Live Arena, T.J. Oshie scored the Capitals' go-ahead goal and they were able to close out the game with an empty-net strike against the team who led the NHL with 29 comeback wins in the regular season.

29-year-old Kuznetsov registered 78 points in 79 regular season games (24 goals, 54 assists), his ninth with Washington since being drafted with the 26th pick of the 2010 NHL draft.

The 6'2" centreman is playing in his seventh straight playoff campaign with Washington. In 2017/18, he had 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists) in 24 games helping the Capitals to win their first Stanley Cup.

Kuznetsov said to the media: "We know we believe [in] ourselves… We have a veteran group of guys and we have great coaches. They're going to make adjustments and they're going to say the right words. We know it's going to be long series and it's going to be a hard game every game."

Game two of the series is in Florida on Thursday.

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