While his linemate hasn't yet been cleared to play, Washington's captain was onto something.
The Russian centre, who leads the overall National Hockey League playoff scoring race with 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists), skated off Wednesday night and went straight to the locker-room favouring his left arm after the crushing first-period collision that saw him tumble to the ice along the boards.
"You got to catch their body when you can", Reaves said.
Game 3 is at Capital One Arena on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
They'd love to have their leading scorer in the lineup Saturday night in Washington, but with superstar captain Alex Ovechkin and several top players producing and filling the void, the Capitals are built to handle life without Kuznetsov if it comes to that.
"The more I'm out there, the more I feel on the puck - better flow in my game", Eller said. "He's a big piece of our team". But another way to do it is instead of trying to make plays at the blueline, get the puck behind the opponent's defense and work it down low.
Kuznetsov has been fairly durable throughout his career, something that Trotz has seen first-hand in his four years behind Washington's bench. Kuznetsov left the game and did not return.
"I don't care who they play against", Gallant said. "His background coming over from Russian Federation. they're a tough group". Game 5 will be back in Vegas next Thursday.
Andre Burakovsky chipped in with two assists of his own as the Capitals won their first-ever game in a Stanley Cup final. "Everybody's excited in Washington".
"That's why we worked so hard to be in this spot and be in this moment".
Washington led the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 after two periods.
After Wednesday night, the series shifts to Washington for Games 3 and 4. It is just like any other road game. "So we'll be just fine".
"If we take care of our business here at home we're going to give ourselves a really good opportunity to win everything".
The good news in a bad situation is that the Capitals come home with the series tied, having flipped the home-ice advantage, and have a little extra time between Games 2 and 3 for Kuznetsov to get treatment. "You get ready to play the next one". They lost Game 1 in the second round against Pittsburgh before bouncing back with a win in Game 2 and eliminating the two-time defending champion Penguins in Game 6. Now it's the best-of-five.
Imagine Dragons kicked up the pregame festivities a notch, playing its hit "Whatever It Takes", following the Vegas Golden Knights' elaborate show that precedes each game.