By IAN NICHOLAS QUILLEN
WASHINGTON (AP) — Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a late short-handed goal in his return from an 18-day absence to put the Washington Capitals ahead for good in a 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night. Kuznetsov’s crafty wrist shot from a tight angle helped the Capitals beat the Predators for the first time in nine games, a streak dating to 2017. It was his 10th of the season and his first since he was reactivated from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol earlier Wednesday. John Carlson also scored and had three assists for Washington. Filip Forsberg scored his team-leading 14th goal to complete the Predators’ second-period rally.