Nikolai Khabibulin

Caps' Ovechkin and Kuznetsov inspire Russian players, fans

Alex Ovechkin knows the Washington Capitals have plenty of fans back in Russia.

"Over there lots of friends, lots of people watch the games," Ovechkin said of his countrymen. "It's been huge."

He is also huge in Barrie, Ontario, where projected top-five draft pick Andrei Svechnikov has been watching Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov serve as inspirations for young Russian players and fans on this run to the Stanley Cup Final. The native of Siberian city Barnaul got to meet his fellow Russians on Monday morning and got an up-close view of their dominance in Game 4 that night.

"(Ovechkin) and Kuzy and Orlov, these guys just famous...

70°