NHL

Capitals manage win after losing top scorer Kuznetsov early to injury

The Washington Capitals picked up a big win in Las Vegas on Wednesday, but it came at a cost.

Centre leaves Game 2 in 1st period with upper-body injury

Washington's Evgeny Kuznetsov clutches his arm after taking a hit from Vegas' Brayden McNabb during Wednesday's Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. Kuznetsov left the game and did not return. (Harry How/Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals picked up a big win in Las Vegas on Wednesday, but it came at a cost.

Playoff points leader Evgeny Kuznetsov was forced from his team's 3-2 victory near the end of the first period after absorbing a hit from the Golden Knights' Brayden McNabb.

The Russian centre, who tops the post-season scoring race with 25 points, immediately went to the ice holding his left arm. He then skated to his team's bench and went straight to the dressing room.

He did not return for the rest of the game with what the Capitals are calling an upper-body injury.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz offered no update on Kuznetsov after the game. 

"[That hit] galvanized us as a group," Trotz said. "This group has learned so much. They've gotten so resilient. This group has had everything thrown at them, and they just say, `You know what? We're going to push on."'

The Stanley Cup Final best-of-seven series is now tied one game apiece. Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday in Washington (8 p.m., CBC).

Evgeny Kuznetsov heads to the Washington dressing room. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

with files from Canadian Press

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