Marc-Andre Fleury

Holtby, Kuznetsov prove just as valuable as Conn Smythe winner Ovechkin for Cup-winning Capitals

Holtby, Kuznetsov prove just as valuable as Conn Smythe winner Ovechkin for Cup-winning Capitals

Alex Ovechkin finally got to hoist the Stanley Cup. And then he raised the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the Stanley Cup Final.

Fellow Russian linemate Evgeny Kuznetsov and goaltender Braden Holtby certainly did some heavy lifting of their own.

In helping deliver a championship Washington had wanted for more than 40 years, Kuznetsov was arguably the Capitals' most instrumental player. The 26-year-old, fifth-year pro finished with a playoff-leading 32 points, including his 20th assist in Thursday night's series-clinching 4-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5.

“He was unbelievable,” Ovechkin said of Kuznetsov. “He makes the magic over...

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