Predators’ Neal, Capitals’ Kuznetsov added to All-Star roster

Check out this sick no-look backhand saucer pass from Capitals star-in-the-making Evgeni Kuznetsov, who fooled everyone in the building but Tom Wilson, who scored.

Nashville Predators forward James Neal and Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov have been added to the fold for the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, the NHL announced Thursday.

Neal replaces Chicago Blackhawks centre Jonathan Toews, while Kuznetsov steps in for injured Capitals teammate Alex Ovechkin.

New York Islanders forward John Tavares will captain the Metropolitan Division team in Ovechkin’s absence.

Of course, Ovechkin and Toews are now subject to one-game suspensions for missing the All-Star Game.

Via official release:

Per League rules, a player who is named to the NHL All-Star Game and does not participate shall be suspended for one regular-season game – either the game immediately preceding or following the NHL All-Star Game. Ovechkin will miss the Capitals’ game on Feb. 2 against the Florida Panthers, while Toews will miss the Blackhawks’ game on Feb. 2 at the Colorado Avalanche.

The Capitals confirmed Ovechkin would sit out the weekend’s festivities with a lingering injury Wednesday. Toews left the Blackhawks’ game versus the Carolina Hurricanes with an injury on Tuesday.

Neal gives the game a little more local flavour, joining goaltender Pekka Rinne and defencemen Roman Josi and Shea Weber as Predators representatives.

Neal has 18 goals and 30 points in 50 games this seaosn. Kuznetsov has 15 goals and 49 points in 47 games and leads the Capitals in assists and points.

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