Nick, Jess and Jess(ica) talk Jordan Staal, Milan Lucic, Nicklas Backstrom, Patrick Marleau, the 2021 IIHF Women’s World Championship and review the 2021 NHL trade deadline.
Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Krejci each had a pair of goals in a, 6-3, win for the Boston Bruins over the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.
A pair of milestones were met for both the team (21,000 goals) and Marchand (700 career points) as Tuukka Rask (10-4-2, 2.36 goals-against average, .910 save percentage in 17 games played) made 30 saves on 33 shots against for Boston en route to the win.
Washington goaltender, Vitek Vanecek (17-9-3, 2.77 goals-against average, .908 save percentage in 31 games played) stopped 22 out of 27 shots faced in the loss.
The Bruins improved to 25-12-6 (56 points) and remained in command of 4th place in the MassMutual NHL East Division, while the Capitals fell to 29-12-4 (62 points) overall and in command of the division lead.
Boston also improved to 4-1-2 against Washington this season with the win.
The Bruins were without Ondrej Kase (upper body), John Moore (hip), Brandon Carlo (upper body), Trent Frederic (non-COVID protocol related illness), Matt Grzelcyk (upper body), Kevan Miller (undisclosed), Jakub Zboril (non-COVID protocol related illness) and Jaroslav Halak (COVID protocol) on Sunday.
Grzelcyk may travel with the team this week as the B’s hit the road, while Miller remains day-to-day and Halak could rejoin the group on Monday at practice.
Head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made one lineup change on defense with Zboril out due to an illness, Jarred Tinordi took Zboril’s spot on the third defensive pairing for Boston.
Frederic, Carlo, Moore, Kase, Halak, Grzelcyk, Jack Ahcan, Zboril, Callum Booth, Anton Blidh, Karson Kuhlman and Miller were on the long list of healthy scratches, taxi squad members and/or injured players for Boston on Sunday, while Dan Vladar was reassigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL) on Saturday.
Ahcan had been reassigned to Providence, but was recalled to the taxi squad on Saturday ahead of Sunday afternoon’s matinée matchup with Washington.
The Capitals were without Zdeno Chara (lower body) after he blocked a shot in Saturday’s, 6-3, win in Philadelphia against the Flyers. The former Bruins captain received a standing ovation from the TD Garden crowd in his first game back in Boston with fans on April 11th.
Dmitry Orlov hooked Marchand 35 seconds into the action Sunday afternoon, presenting the Bruins with the game’s first power play.
Boston did not convert on the skater advantage, however.
Midway through the opening frame, Connor Clifton caught Lars Eller with a high stick that resulted in a four-minute double minor infraction. Washington had an extended power play at 8:53 of the first period as a result.
Late in the penalty kill, the Bruins worked the puck out of their own zone, whereby Capitals defender, John Carlson, went to battle along the endboards with Marchand for possession.
Marchand got just enough of a touch on the puck as Carlson chipped it off of the Bruins winger’s stick prior to the rubber biscuit deflecting to an open space in the slot whereby Bergeron (17) scooped it up and pulled it to his backhand for a shot that beat Vanecek and gave Boston the game’s first goal.
Marchand (30) had the only assist Bergeron’s shorthanded goal as the Bruins pulled ahead, 1-0, at 12:02 of the first period on their eighth shorthanded goal this season– tying the Montreal Canadiens for the most in 2020-21.
Less than a couple minutes later, Krejci (4) received a pass through the low slot and one-timed a shot past Vanecek after Craig Smith and Clifton did a tremendous job working the puck low into the zone, then over to No. 46 in black and gold.
Clifton (6) and Smith (16) tallied the assists on Krejci’s goal as the Bruins took a, 2-0, lead at 13:56.
Late in the period, Mike Reilly got beat while pinching at the blue line, thus leaving Charlie McAvoy as the lone B’s defender in his own zone, whereby Nicklas Backstrom waltzed around the young Boston skater with a deke before getting a shot on Rask.
T.J. Oshie (15) scored on the rebound to cut Boston’s lead in half and get the Capitals on the board, 2-1.
Backstrom (32) had the only assist on the goal at 19:50.
After the horn to signify the end of the first period, Garnet Hathaway delivered a late check on Jeremy Lauzon along the boards.
The Bruins did not take kindly to Hathaway’s rejection of the unwritten “code” and a scrum ensued.
Nic Dowd and Curtis Lazar each received roughing minors as a result, yielding penalties at 20:00 of the first period and a pair of minutes at 4-on-4 to start the middle frame.
Entering the first intermission, the B’s led, 2-1, on the scoreboard, despite trailing the Capitals, 14-10, in shots on goal.
Washington held the advantage in blocked shots (4-3) and hits (16-13), while Boston led in takeaways (4-3) and faceoff win percentage (72-28) after one period.
Both teams had one giveaway each, while the Caps were 0/2 and the Bruins were 0/1 on the power play heading into the second period.
Clifton caught Conor Sheary with a high stick at 2:53 of the second period and presented the Capitals with an extended power play as a result of Sheary going down to the ice with an injury, resulting in a double-minor infraction for the young Bruins defender.
Washington capitalized on the ensuing power play as Backstrom dished a pass to Evgeny Kuznetsov behind the net for the setup to Oshie (16) for a one-timer over Rask’s glove on the short side– tying the game, 2-2, in the process.
Kuznetsov (17) and Backstrom (33) had the assists on Oshie’s second goal of the afternoon– and a power-play goal at that– at 3:48 of the second period.
About a minute later, Anthony Mantha (15) scored on a catch and release shot past Rask’s stick side while the Caps had a net front presence to screen the Bruins goaltender.
Orlov (8) and Eller (14) had the assists on Mantha’s power-play goal as the Capitals took the lead for the first time Sunday afternoon, 3-2, at 4:54.
The Bruins didn’t take long to respond, however, as Marchand (22) was fed a pass from David Pastrnak and beat Vanecek with a backhand shot to tie the game, 3-3, at 6:33.
Pastrnak (19) and Bergeron (22) had the assists on Marchand’s first goal of the game.
Midway through the period, Hathaway was assessed a holding minor at 13:55 and the B’s went on the power play as a result. Boston did not score on the resulting power play, however.
The Bruins caught the Capitals in the vulnerable minute after a skater advantage, though, as Krejci (5) received a pass and held the puck long enough for Orlov to dive and slide away before sending a quick shot over Vanecek’s glove side.
Smith (17) and Taylor Hall (18) notched the assists on Krejci’s second goal of the afternoon and the Bruins led, 4-3, at 16:02 of the second period.
About a minute later, Bergeron (18) had his second goal of the game on a one-timer from Pastrnak to give Boston another two-goal lead, 5-3, at 17:45.
Pastrnak (20) and Marchand (31) had the assists on the Bergeron’s goal, which marked the 21,000th goal in franchise history.
Late in the period, Rask had a broken stick and was playing with about half of a paddle and blade (goaltenders are allowed to play with a broken stick, for the record), which led to Reilly hooking Oshie to prevent Washington from establishing an attacking zone presence.
In the process, Reilly received a hooking minor and presented the Caps with a power play at 19:47 that would carry over into the final frame of regulation.
Through 40 minutes of play on Sunday, the Bruins led the Capitals, 5-3, on the scoreboard, despite trailing, 25-20, in shots on goal, including an, 11-10, advantage for Washington in the second period alone.
The Caps held the advantage in hits (25-21), while the B’s led in takeaways (7-6) and faceoff win% (62-39).
Both teams had six blocked shots and two giveaways each, while the Capitals were 2/5 and the Bruins were 0/2 on the power play heading into the final frame.
Tom Wilson caught Sean Kuraly while he was falling with a late hit that left Kuraly stunned and slow to get off the ice. There was no penalty on the play, similar to when Wilson knocked Carlo out of contention with a blindside hit on March 5th.
Carlo has missed 20 games since, despite appearing in one game on April 1st against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a, 4-1, loss.
Tinordi was the only player heading to the penalty box for roughing Wilson in response to his hit on Kuraly on Saturday. Washington went on the power play at 5:52 of the third period, but did not convert on the ensuing skater advantage.
Shortly thereafter, Hathaway boarded Tinordi– cutting the Bruins defender open in the process as his visor smacked the boards first.
Initially, there was no call, nor a whistle for Tinordi while he bled out on the ice.
Divine intervention from the NHL’s office in Toronto, however, delivered a five-minute major penalty for boarding, as well as a match penalty for Hathaway– ending the Capitals forward’s afternoon early.
Boston went on the power play at 9:21 as Daniel Sprong skated to the sin bin to serve Hathaway’s major, but the B’s couldn’t muster anything past Washington’s penalty kill and Vanecek in the extended skater advantage.
With 2:18 remaining in the action, Capitals head coach, Peter Laviolette, pulled his netminder for an extra attacker, but it was to no avail.
Boston worked the puck free from their own zone, whereby Pastrnak hit Marchand with a pass through the neutral zone.
Marchand (23) looked to make a move to Bergeron for the hat trick, but settled for an empty net goal for himself at 18:16– assisted by Pastrnak (21) in the process and completing a four-point game for No. 63 in black and gold.
The empty net goal also marked the 700th career point for Marchand– becoming the ninth player in a Bruins uniform to record at least 700 points in franchise history in the process– as the B’s led, 6-3.
At the final horn, Boston had beaten Washington, 6-3, despite finishing the afternoon trailing in shots on goal, 33-28.
The Bruins finished Sunday’s action leading in blocked shots (12-9) and faceoff win% (55-46), while the Capitals ended the action leading in giveaways (6-2) and hits (33-28).
Washington finished the game 2/6 on the power play, while the B’s were 0/3 on the skater advantage.
Despite their lack of power play success on Sunday, the Bruins extended their winning streak to four games.
Boston also improved to 17-4-3 (9-0-2 at home) when scoring the game’s first goal, 14-0-2 (8-0-1 at home) when leading after the first period and 16-0-2 (11-0-2 at home) when leading after two periods this season.
Washington fell to 9-8-2 (4-4-1 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 4-8-1 (1-5-0 on the road) when trailing after one period and 2-9-0 (0-5-0 on the road) when losing after the second period in 2020-21.
After going 4-1-0 in their five-game homestand, the Bruins hit the road for the next five games including three stops in Buffalo and two stops in Pittsburgh before returning home to close out the month of April on the 29th against the Sabres.
Boston’s week ahead features stops in Buffalo on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday before heading to Pittsburgh next week.
The Washington Capitals handed the Boston Bruins an, 8-1, loss at TD Garden in what was Boston’s worst loss of the season on Sunday.
Three Caps forwards each had a pair of goals in the win, while Vitek Vanecek (17-7-3, 2.60 goals-against average, .913 save percentage in 29 games played) made 34 saves on 35 shots against for Washington.
Boston goaltender, Dan Vladar (3-2-0, 3.40 goals-against average, .886 save percentage in five games played) stopped 25 out of 33 shots faced in the loss.
The Bruins fell to 21-12-6 (48 points) on the season and remained in 4th place in the MassMutual NHL East Division, while the Capitals improved to 27-11-4 (58 points) overall and remained in control of the division.
The B’s are now 3-1-2 against Washington this season and were without the services of Ondrej Kase (upper body), Tuukka Rask (upper body), John Moore (hip), Brandon Carlo (upper body), Charlie McAvoy (upper body), Trent Frederic (non-COVID related illness), Matt Grzelcyk (upper body), Kevan Miller (precautionary reasons) and Jaroslav Halak (COVID protocol) on Sunday.
Bruce Cassidy made no adjustments to his forward lines, but had to jumbled his defensive pairings out of necessity with over half of his regular blue liners out of the lineup due to injury.
Jeremy Lauzon was paired with Connor Clifton, while Jakub Zboril and Steven Kampfer remained together on the second pairing.
Meanwhile, Jarred Tinordi entered the lineup on the third pairing with Jack Ahcan.
Anders Bjork, Frederic, Zach Senyshyn, Carlo, Moore, Kase, Rask, Halak, Grzelcyk, Callum Booth, McAvoy and Miller made up Boston’s long list of healthy scratches, taxi squad members and players out of the lineup due to injury on Sunday.
Four seconds after puck drop, Chris Wagner and Brenden Dillon dropped their gloves and exchanged fisticuffs, yielding fighting majors in what was Boston’s 10th fight of the season and first since Nick Ritchie fought Garnet Hathaway in the B’s, 4-2, win in Washington on April 8th.
23 seconds later, Evgeny Kuznetsov slashed Ritchie and presented the Bruins with the game’s first power play 27 seconds into the first period.
Those were about the only positives of the night for Boston.
Washington’s penalty kill dismantled Kuznetsov’s minor and the Capitals got their first taste of a skater advantage at 5:49, when Sean Kuraly interfered with John Carlson away from the puck.
Late on the ensuing power play, T.J. Oshie (13) one-timed a shot from the bumper past Vladar on the short side for his ninth power-play goal of the season.
Nicklas Backstrom (28) and Kuznetsov (14) tallied the assists on Oshie’s goal and the Capitals jumped out to a, 1-0, lead at 7:33 of the first period.
16 seconds later, Lars Eller (6) chased a Washington chip shot clearing attempt, blew past Boston’s defense and beat Vladar over the glove on the short side to give the Capitals a two-goal lead at 7:49.
Carl Hagelin (7) and Hathaway (10) tallied the assists on Eller’s first goal of the game.
Less than two minutes later, Conor Sheary (9) scored on a fast break that led to a de facto 2-on-1 in the attacking zone while Kampfer was out of position encroaching on Lauzon’s responsibilities in the defensive zone for Boston.
Dmitry Orlov (6) and Daniel Sprong (6) were credited with the assists on Sheary’s first goal of the night and the Capitals led, 3-0, at 9:42 of the first period.
Washington notched three goals in a span of 2:09 as the offensive onslaught was only just beginning for the rest of the night.
Sprong slashed Lauzon at 13:34, but the Bruins could not capitalize on the resulting power play.
Heading into the first intermission, the Caps led, 3-0, on the scoreboard and, 9-7, in shots on goal.
Washington also held the advantage in blocked shots (3-1) and takeaways (4-0), while Boston led in giveaways (4-3), hits (7-3) and faceoff win percentage (53-47) after 20 minutes of action on Sunday.
The Caps were 1/1 and the B’s were 0/2 on the power play entering the middle frame.
Craig Smith held Sheary and cut a rut to the penalty box as a result to kickoff the second period with another power play for Washington at 2:57.
Once again, late in ensuing the skater advantage, the Capitals tallied another power-play goal as Sheary (10) scored his second goal of the night on a rebound that the University of Massachusetts product buried top-shelf while the Bruins netminder outstretched his limbs in all directions.
Tom Wilson (15) and Jakub Vrana (14) had the assists as the Capitals extended their lead, 4-0, at 4:41 of the second period.
Less than a minute later, Justin Schultz was sent to the sin bin for hooking David Pastrnak at 5:34, but Boston’s power play was powerless.
Midway through the middle period, Pastrnak hooked Sheary and presented the Caps with another power play at 13:26, but for the first time of the night, Boston’s penalty kill did not allow a power-play goal against.
Washington scored in the vulnerable minute after special teams play, however, as Nic Dowd received a gift thanks to David Krejci’s attacking zone faceoff win going through the uprights as neither Bruins defender got a stick on the puck.
Hagelin setup Dowd (8) for a floater over Vladar’s glove side on a breakout off of the B’s turnover.
Washington led, 5-0, while Hagelin (8) had the only assist on Dowd’s goal at 16:03.
30 seconds later, Lauzon caught Wilson with a high-stick at 16:33.
Late in the resulting power play (stop if you’ve heard this one before), Wilson (10) redirected a shot pass behind the Bruins goaltender to give the Caps another power-play goal and a, 6-0, lead on the scoreboard.
Alex Ovechkin (16) and Schultz (19) tallied the assists on Wilson’s goal at 18:24 of the second period.
Through 40 minutes of play, Washington led, 6-0, on the scoreboard, despite Boston outshooting the Capitals, 16-14, in the second period alone. The two clubs each had 23 total shots on goal after two periods.
The Bruins held the advantage in hits (15-9) and faceoff win% (60-40), while the Caps led in blocked shots (6-4) and takeaways (10-4).
Both teams had four giveaways aside as Washington was 3/4 on the power play and the B’s were 0/3 on the skater advantage heading into the final frame.
Backstrom hooked Charlie Coyle and the Bruins went on the power play at 2:01 of the third period.
About a minute into the ensuing skater advantage, Smith (8) wrapped a rebound around Vanecek and into the net to put Boston on the scoreboard with a power-play goal.
Jake DeBrusk (5) and Coyle (9) had the assists on Smith’s goal as the Bruins trailed, 6-1, at 3:00 of the third period.
Moments later, Coyle slashed Eller and was sent to the box at 7:49.
Washington did not score on the resulting power play.
Oshie (14) added his second goal of the night on a home run that he tipped in– batting the puck out of the air– over Vladar’s glove side shoulder to make it, 7-1, Washington at 10:13.
Backstrom (29) had the only assist on the goal.
A few minutes later, Eller (7) pocketed his second goal of the night, while Oshie (19) recorded his third point of the game with the primary assist. Dillon (13) was credited with the secondary assist as the Caps led, 8-1, at 13:14.
Washington’s eighth goal marked the most goals allowed by Boston this season, surpassing that of their, 7-2, loss on Long Island against the New York Islanders on Feb. 25th.
Late in the period, Kampfer hooked Sheary, but the Capitals didn’t score on the resulting power play at 18:32.
At the final horn, Washington had sealed the deal on an, 8-1, victory, despite finishing the night trailing in shots on goal, 35-33, including a, 12-10, advantage for Boston in the third period alone.
The B’s finished Sunday night’s action leading in hits (25-13) and faceoff win% (54-46), while the Caps headed out of town with the advantage in blocked shots (9-5) and giveaways (9-5).
Washington finished the night 3/6 on the power play, while Boston went 1/4 on the skater advantage.
The Bruins fell to 7-8-3 (4-6-1 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 5-8-2 (3-3-0 at home) when trailing after the first period and 4-7-1 (3-5-0 at home) when trailing after two periods this season.
Meanwhile, the Capitals improved to 18-5-2 (10-3-1 on the road) when scoring the game’s first goal, 12-3-3 (7-1-2 on the road) when leading after the first period and 21-2-0 (12-1-0 on the road) when leading after two periods in 2020-21.
Boston continues their five-game homestand (0-1-0) with a matchup against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday before taking on the New York Islanders on Thursday and Friday prior to facing Washington again next Sunday (April 18th).
In the meantime, the 2021 trade deadline is Monday at 3 p.m. ET and the Bruins have already made a pair of moves after their, 8-1, loss to the Capitals on Sunday.
The Bruins acquired defender, Mike Reilly, from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2022 3rd round pick and have reportedly traded Bjork and a 2nd round pick to the Sabres for forwards, Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar.
More information to come here on Down the Frozen River as trades are announced on Monday.
Brad Marchand scored his 30th career shorthanded goal, while Jeremy Swayman picked up his second career National Hockey League win in as many consecutive games played in the Boston Bruins’, 4-2, victory over the Washington Capitals Thursday night at Capital One Arena.
Swayman (2-0-0, 2.02 goals-against average, .947 save percentage in two games played) made 31 saves on 33 shots faced in the win for Boston.
Washington netminder, Ilya Samsonov (9-3-1, 2.97 goals-against average, .894 save percentage in 14 games played), stopped 28 out of 32 shots on goal in the loss.
The Bruins improved to 21-10-6 (48 points) on the season and remain in 4th place in the MassMutual NHL East Division– four points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for 3rd place.
Meanwhile, the Capitals fell to 25-11-4 (54 points) overall and fell to 2nd place in the same division as a result of the New York Islanders’, 3-2, shootout victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.
Boston is now 3-0-2 against Washington this season.
The B’s were without Ondrej Kase (upper body), Tuukka Rask (upper body), John Moore (hip), Brandon Carlo (upper body), Charlie McAvoy (upper body), Trent Frederic (non-COVID protocol related illness) and Jaroslav Halak (COVID protocol) on Thursday.
McAvoy is out until Sunday at least, according to Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, as told to reporters via Zoom ahead of Thursday night’s action in Washington, D.C.
Rask is still day-to-day and traveled with the team for their three-game road trip.
With Frederic out due to an illness, Anton Blidh took over his role on the fourth line left wing. Cassidy made no other changes to his lineup, despite Jack Ahcan and Callum Booth rejoining Boston’s taxi squad.
Anders Bjork was scratched for his third consecutive game, while Frederic, Zach Senyshyn, Carlo, Moore, Kase, Rask, Halak, Ahcan, Booth, McAvoy and Jarred Tinordi rounded out the list of healthy scratches, taxi squad members and/or injured players against the Capitals.
Less than a minute into the action, Jeremy Lauzon (1) fired a shot from the point that had eyes and worked its way through Samsonov’s five-hole before trickling over the goal line to give Boston a, 1-0, lead 37 seconds into the first period.
Marchand (28) and Craig Smith (12) tallied the assists on Lauzon’s first goal of the season and the Bruins were off to a fast start at Capital One Arena.
Moments later, Tom Wilson tripped Jakub Zboril and was sent to the penalty box, presenting the B’s with the night’s first power play.
Boston’s special teams could not convert on their first skater advantage of the night, however.
Midway through the opening frame, Brenden Dillon cross checked Bruins captain, Patrice Bergeron, and cut a rut to the sin bin at 13:27.
The B’s capitalized on the vulnerable minute after a power play when Capitals defender, Justin Schultz, tried to bounce the puck off the endboards behind the net to his teammate, Zdeno Chara, except the rubber biscuit took an odd bounce and rebounded to the side of the Washington net– right where Blidh was standing.
Blidh (1) tapped in the gift from The Hockey Gods on the short side while Samsonov was caught not expecting the unexpected (but then again, who was?) and the Bruins had a two-goal lead as a result at 16:02.
About 30 seconds later, Charlie Coyle, hooked Washington forward, Daniel Carr, at 16:31, but the Caps didn’t score on the resulting power play.
In the dying minute of the first period, Nick Ritchie and Garnet Hathaway exchanged pleasantries– leading to the exchange of fisticuffs at 19:01.
Both players received a five-minute major for fighting, while Ritchie picked up an extra minor for slashing that was served by Karson Kuhlman and would carry over into the middle frame.
It was the ninth fight of the season for Boston and Ritchie’s second of the season– the first fight for Boston since Tinordi fought Wilson on March 5th in Boston’s, 5-1, win against Washington and the first fight for Ritchie since he fought then New York Rangers forward, Brendan Lemieux, in Boston’s, 4-1, win at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 28th.
Through 20 minutes of play on Thursday night, the Bruins led the Capitals, 2-0, on the scoreboard at Capital One Arena.
The B’s also held the advantage in shots on goal (17-9), blocked shots (5-4), takeaways (2-1), hits (10-7) and faceoff win percentage (64-36), while the Caps led in giveaways (5-0).
Both teams were 0/2 on the power play heading into the middle frame.
Zboril tripped Conor Sheary to kick off the second period with a power play for the Capitals at 2:44.
The Bruins’ penalty kill, however, dominated the ensuing special teams action, featuring Marchand’s toe drag around Schultz while the Caps defender dove– sliding backwards toward the boards before Marchand (19) performed another quick move with the puck to his backhand for a shot over Samsonov’s glove and his second shorthanded goal of the season.
Marchand’s individual effort was unassisted and the Bruins led, 3-0, at 4:09 of the second period.
Moments later, Blidh was penalized for slashing and roughing against Lars Eller at 8:39, yielding an extended 5-on-4 advantage for Washington in the process.
The Capitals went on a 5-on-3 advantage for two minutes when Zboril interfered with Sheary at 10:04.
This time, however, Washington made quick work of their skater advantage.
Alex Ovechkin (20) blasted a one-timer from his usual spot above the faceoff dot for his 266th career power-play goal– surpassing Brett Hull for sole possession of the second-most power-play goals in NHL history in the process.
John Carlson (23) and T.J. Oshie (17) had the assists on Ovechkin’s goal and the Capitals trailed, 3-1, at 10:08.
Less than 20 seconds later, Oshie (12) rocketed another power-play goal past Swayman to cut Boston’s lead to one-goal.
Carlson (24) and Nicklas Backstrom (27) tabbed the assists on Oshie’s goal at 10:27 and the Capitals trailed, 3-2.
Moments later, Oshie bumped Matt Grzelcyk with a borderline cross check, which resulted in Grzelcyk catching Eller with a stick up high.
Eller fell to the ice and drew blood– stopping play while the puck was in Boston’s attacking zone at the other end of the rink– however no penalty was called on the play as Grzelcyk’s stick catching Eller’s face had been a result of Oshie’s initial shove.
Moments after Eller spilled blood on the ice, Bruins defender, Steven Kampfer, leaked his own red bodily fluids in about the same area when he and Carl Hagelin went awkwardly into the boards.
This time, however, despite Kampfer losing an edge, Hagelin had gone a step too far in remaining in contact with the Boston skater and drove him into the boards, yielding a boarding infraction at 14:45.
Washington killed off Hagelin’s minor penalty, however, and despite bleeding, Kampfer was fine to continue the rest of the night (as was Eller).
After two periods of play, the B’s led the Caps, 3-2, on the scoreboard, as well as in shots on goal, 24-23, despite trailing Washington, 14-7, in shots on goal in the second period alone.
Boston had the advantage in blocked shots (10-6), takeaways (8-4) and faceoff win% (57-43), while Washington led in giveaways (5-1) and hits (21-17).
The Capitals were 2/6 on the power play, while the Bruins were 0/3 heading into the final frame.
Hathaway and Marchand drew matching unsportsmanlike minors at 6:43 of the third period, yielding two minutes of 4-on-4 play, but both clubs escaped without issue as 5-on-5 full strength resumed afterward.
Late in the third period, Carr hooked Sean Kuraly at 15:20.
About 90 seconds into resulting the power play, Smith (7) picked up a loose puck that had deflected off of Chara’s skate and sent a shot over Samsonov’s blocker side to give Boston a two-goal lead once again at 16:55.
Coyle (7) and Zboril (8) tallied the assists on Smith’s power-play goal and the Bruins led, 4-2.
With about 2:15 remaining in the game, Capitals head coach, Peter Laviolette, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker, but it was to no avail, even after Washington used their timeout with 1:45 left in the action to drum up a game-tying, if not game-winning plan.
Despite Marchand’s tripping minor at 19:55, the Capitals were empty handed as the Bruins emerged victorious at the final horn.
Boston defeated Washington, 4-2, on the final scoreboard, despite trailing the Caps in total shots on goal, 33-32, including a, 10-8, advantage for Washington in the third period alone.
The Bruins finished the night leading in blocked shots (18-9) and faceoff win% (58-42), while the Capitals wrapped up Thursday’s action leading in giveaways (6-2) and hits (26-19).
The Caps went 2/7 and the B’s went 1/4 on the power play on Thursday as Boston picked up back-to-back wins for the second time in their last 24 games.
The Bruins also improved to 14-3-3 (8-3-1 on the road) when scoring the game’s first goal, 11-0-2 (6-0-1 on the road) when leading after the first period and 12-0-2 (5-0-0 on the road) when leading after two periods this season.
Washington, meanwhile, fell to 9-6-2 (5-3-1 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 4-7-1 (3-3-1 at home) when trailing after the first period and 2-7-0 (2-3-0 at home) when trailing after two periods in 2020-21.
Boston finishes their three-game road trip (2-0-0) with a return to Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon to take on the Flyers before heading home to begin a five-game homestand and host the Capitals on Sunday.
The Boston Bruins beat the Washington Capitals, 5-1, Friday night at TD Garden after Capitals forward, Tom Wilson, delivered an unpenalized hit to the head of Bruins defender, Brandon Carlo, sparking an electric response on the scoreboard for Boston.
Jarred Tinordi and Trent Frederic each had a scrap with Wilson in a bout of “vigilante justice” because of one player that showed a lack of respect for “the code” and has once again threatened the career of another player with what is likely a head injury.
Bruins forward, Brad Marchand, had some strong words regarding Wilson’s hit during the first intermission, leading the New England Sports Network (NESN) to have to utilize a couple of drops to avoid facing scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
NESN aired Marchand’s interview in full after coming back from a break in the second period after the production truck had enough time to mute a pair of expletives.
Meanwhile, Jarsolav Halak (5-2-1, 2.24 goals against average, .913 save percentage in eight games played) made 31 saves on 32 shots against for a .969 SV% in the win for the B’s.
Capitals goaltender, Vitek Vanecek (10-5-3, 2.83 GAA, .906 SV% in 19 games played) stopped 14 out of 18 shots faced for a .778 SV% in 35:43 time on ice before being replaced by Ilya Samsonov (2-0-1, 2.87 GAA, .877 SV% in four games played) made six saves on seven shots against (.857 SV%) for no decision in relief of Vanecek.
The Bruins improved to 13-5-3 (29 points) and moved into 3rd place in the MassMutual NHL East Division, while the Caps fell to 13-6-4 (30 points) and 2nd place in the division.
Boston was without the services of Ondrej Kase (upper body), Kevan Miller (lower body) and Jeremy Lauzon (fractured left hand) on Friday.
Charlie Coyle, however, made his return from COVID protocol and as a result was reunited on the third line with Frederic on his left wing and Craig Smith on his right wing.
Jake DeBrusk was promoted to the right side of the second line, while Anders Bjork, Jack Studnicka and Chris Wagner made up the fourth line.
Sean Kuraly joined John Moore as a healthy scratch, while Greg McKegg, Steven Kampfer, Urho Vaakanainen and Callum Booth were listed on the taxi squad.
Bruce Cassidy made no changes to his defense.
Early in the opening frame, Charlie McAvoy tried to hit Garnet Hathaway, but bounced off the Washington forward as Hathaway anticipated and met McAvoy with an equal and opposing force.
McAvoy slammed against he boards by the bench and smacked the ice, yielding a quick trip down the tunnel for a cut above his right eye likely caused by his visor.
Late in the period, Marchand (11) snuck into the low slot and received a pass from Patrice Bergeron before sending a backhand shot over Vanecek’s glove to give Boston the game’s first goal.
Bergeron (13) and McAvoy (13) had the assists as the Bruins took a, 1-0, lead at 14:21 of the first period.
Less than a minute later, Coyle yielded the first power play of the game to the Capitals after he caught Dmitry Orlov with a slash at 14:42.
Washington was not able to convert on their first skater advantage of the night.
Moments later, Wilson made a couple of runs at Frederic, catching the ire of the young Bruins forward.
Then Wilson caught Carlo up high in the corner to Rask’s right side behind the goal line with enough force to bash Carlo’s head off the glass before Jakub Vrana delivered a shift cross check above the shoulders while Carlo immediately clutched the sides of his head and collapsed in a heap.
Wagner grabbed Wilson as every remaining skater one the ice paired up.
There was no penalty on the call, which left Cassidy visibly irate on the bench and others on Boston’s bench audibly displeased.
Wilson was a free man and the threshold– as well as potential for more chaos– was established. In simple terms, it was the most glaring example of what not to do as an on-ice official.
It might not have been charging, but it could’ve been boarding.
It might not have been immediately clear that there was head contact or that Carlo was in a vulnerable position– let alone that Wilson had plenty of time and space to deliver and proper body check, but instead the refs made no call and implied that, in return, Wilson was free game.
Not only was player safety compromised for Carlo, but it would be compromised for Wilson too in the eyes of retribution if it had reared its head.
Let alone the next player Wilson might go on to hit.
Regardless, the Bruins entered the first intermission taking not only a hit to their defense, but a dent in their momentum, despite leading, 1-0, on the scoreboard.
Washington led, 12-8, in shots on goal, as well as in giveaways (5-2) and hits (12-6), while Boston held the advantage in blocked shots (4-3).
Both teams had three takeaways. The two clubs were 50-50 in faceoff win percentage.
The Capitals were 0/1 on the power play heading into the middle frame.
Boston tweeted that Carlo (upper body) would not return to Friday night’s action before the second period began.
Brenden Dillon was penalized for roughing 20 seconds into the second period after a stoppage in play and presented the Bruins with their first power play opportunity of the night.
Boston did not score on the resulting skater advantage.
Moments later, Tinordi squared off in an exchange of fisticuffs with Wilson– marking the first of two fights of the night featuring No. 43 in a Capitals road uniform.
Each player received five-minute fighting majors at 6:12 of the second period.
It was the eighth fight this season for Boston and the first since Nick Ritchie fought Brendan Lemieux at 20:00 of the third period at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers on Feb. 28th.
While Wilson was in the box, Frederic (3) redirected a shot pass from McAvoy into the open twine as Vanecek was screened by net front traffic.
McAvoy (14) and Smith (5) tallied the assists as the Bruins extended their lead to two-goals, 2-0, at 6:43 of the second period.
Wilson was still in the box as Boston’s first line worked its magic on a “tic-toc-goal” at 9:01, extending their lead to three-goals thanks to Bergeron (9).
David Pastrnak (10) and Marchand (15) notched the assists on Bergeron’s goal as the B’s took a, 3-0, lead.
Late in the period, Marchand (12) added his second goal of the game while on the doorstep of the crease behind the Washington netminder as Vanecek wasn’t able to track another close range shot pass that made it, 4-0, Boston.
Matt Grzelcyk (4) had the only assist on Marchand’s second of the night at 14:58.
Caps head coach, Peter Laviolette, made the decision to replace Vanecek with Samsonov thereafter.
The Bruins went into the second intermission with a four-goal lead and a, 10-8, advantage in shots in the second period alone, despite trailing the Capitals, 20-18, in total shots on goal through 40 minutes.
Boston led in blocked shots (8-6) and faceoff win% (62-38), while Washington held the advantage in takeaways (8-7), giveaways (11-6) and hits (25-18).
Both teams were 0/1 on the power play entering the final frame.
David Krejci found Ritchie (8) for a one-timer goal past Samsonov’s glove to kick things off at 1:05 of the third period, extending Boston’s lead to five-goals.
Krejci (11) and DeBrusk (4) tabbed the assists as the Bruins led, 5-0.
Seconds later, Frederic and Wilson dropped the gloves with the first-year Boston forward wracking up an instigator minor and an automatic 10-minute misconduct to go along with his five-minute fighting major.
Wilson managed to accrue fewer penalty minutes for knocking someone out of the game with a high hit to the head (zero) than he did in his second fight of the night (five).
Smith served Frederic’s instigating minor at 1:12 of the third period and the Capitals did not convert on the ensuing power play.
Wilson and Frederic’s fight marked the ninth fighting major of the season for Boston.
Moments later, T.J. Oshie caught Pastrnak with a high stick at 3:27, but the B’s did not score on the resulting 5-on-4 advantage.
A little past the midpoint of the third period, Vrana (8) sniped a shot from the faceoff dot on a catch and release play past Halak’s blocker side disrupting the shutout in the process.
Nicklas Backstrom (16) and Oshie (10) nabbed the assists as the Capitals trailed, 5-1, at 13:36 of the third period.
Backstrom, meanwhile, earned his 700th career assist with the primary assist on the goal and became the first player in Washington’s franchise history to reach the 700-assist plateau.
No. 19 for the Caps was a first-year player back in 2007-08, and has spent his entire 979-game career with Washington– the team that drafted him 4th overall in the 2006 NHL Draft.
After another scrum that featured current Capitals defender, Zdeno Chara, being restrained by current Bruins captain, Patrice Bergeron, Wagner caught No. 33 for the Caps with a slash at 18:40 in the dying minutes of Friday night’s action.
Wagner cut a rut to the penalty box, while Washington couldn’t muster anything on the ensuing skater advantage to close out the game.
At the final horn, Boston had won, 5-1, despite finishing the night trailing in shots on goal, 32-25, including a, 12-7, advantage in the third period alone for Washington.
The Bruins also wrapped up the night’s action leading in blocked shots (9-7) and faceoff win% (53-47).
The Capitals ended the 60-minute effort leading in giveaways (15-8) and hits (34-22).
Washington went 0/3 and Boston went 0/2 on the power play on Friday as the Bruins handed the Caps their most lopsided loss of the season– snapping the Capitals’ four-game winning streak in the process.
Carlo was taken to a local hospital by ambulance after being hit by Wilson.
After the game, Cassidy offered his thoughts on Wilson’s hit.
“You can see it,” he told reporters via Zoom, “He hits him in the head. [It was a] [p]redatory hit from a player who’s done that before.”
Cassidy continued, “We felt it was completely unnecessary, dirty,” and added that he didn’t know whether Carlo was going to stay overnight in the hospital or even if he had been concussed at that point.
“You can probably make your own call on that one, considering the hit was directly to his head.”
Laviolette offered a different point of view, explaining (neither in defense, nor in terms of throwing his own player under the bus),
“I saw the hit. His feet were on the ice, he stayed down with everything. Just looked like a hard hit in the corner. Not exactly sure what happened, but to me, it looked like just a hit.”
Laviolette also mentioned after the game that he hadn’t received any indication that the league would be wanting to talk to Wilson about the hit on Carlo.
Bruins newcoming defender in just his second game with the club since being claimed off waivers on Sunday, Tinordi called the hit “risky” and added, “You’ve got to hold up there.”
“That’s what I noticed about this team as soon as I got here. The boys are playing for each other night in and night out,” Tinordi observed of his new teammates, remarking on Bergeron’s tap of the glass in front of him after scoring a goal while Tinordi sat in the penalty box having just fought Wilson.
“We did the job and took care of business on the ice,” Marchand told reporters after the game.
“If the refs are able to look at [Wilson’s hit on Carlo on video review], that’s a suspension and he’s gone from the game,” Marchand continued, “We can review if a guy’s foot is half an inch offside, but we can’t review a headshot.”
“I’ve been guilty of it in the past. But it is something you don’t wanna see happen. But he was in a bad spot and Wilson took advantage.”
Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak, meanwhile, have 437-563–1,003 combined totals in the last five years– becoming just one of two trios in the league in that span to collect over 1,000 combined points, joining Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Edmonton Oilers in doing so.
The Bruins improved to 9-2-1 (5-0-1 at home) when scoring the game’s first goal this season, while the Capitals fell to 5-3-2 (2-2-1 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal in 2020-21.
The B’s also improved to 7-0-0 (4-0-0 at home) when leading after the first period and 8-0-0 (5-0-0 at home) when leading after the second period this season.
Washington, meanwhile, fell to 2-4-1 (0-3-0 on the road) when trailing after the first period and 1-4-0 (0-3-0 on the road) when trailing after the second period this season.
Boston finishes up their three-game homestand (1-0-1) on Sunday against the New Jersey Devils before hitting the road for one game on Long Island next Tuesday against the New York Islanders.
Things got a little crispy in Zdeno Chara’s first game back at TD Garden as a visitor on Wednesday night as the Washington Capitals emerged with a, 2-1, shootout win over the Boston Bruins.
Vitek Vanecek (10-4-3, 2.69 goals against average, .910 save percentage in 18 games played) made 18 saves on 19 shots against for a .947 SV% in the shootout win for Washington.
Boston goaltender, Tuukka Rask (8-3-2, 2.57 GAA, .902 SV% in 13 games played) stopped 27 out of 28 shots faced for a .964 SV% in the shootout loss.
The Bruins fell to 12-5-3 (27 points) on the season and remain in 3rd place in the MassMutual NHL East Division, while the Capitals improved to 13-5-4 (30 points) overall and widened their division standings lead by two points over the New York Islanders.
Matt Grzelcyk returned to the lineup for the first time since being injured at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers on Feb. 10th.
David Krejci was back in the lineup for Boston too for the first time since sustaining a lower body injury on Feb. 18th against the New Jersey Devils.
As a result, Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made several changes to his lineup, including Grzelcyk and Krejci to their usual roles, as well as shuffling other forwards and defenders.
Cassidy left the first line intact, but slotted Craig Smith on Krejci’s right wing on the second line with Nick Ritchie in his usual role on the left side.
Jack Studnicka remained in the lineup– centering the third line with Trent Frederic and Jake DeBrusk on his wings, while Anders Bjork returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch in Sunday’s, 4-1, win at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers.
Bjork was back in his left wing role on the fourth line with Sean Kuraly returning to center and Chris Wagner on the right wing.
On defense, Jakub Zboril was paired with Charlie McAvoy on the top pairing, while Grzelcyk was reunited in his return to game action with Brandon Carlo to round out the top-four defenders.
Jarred Tinordi made his Boston debut on the third defensive pairing with Connor Clifton on the right side.
The Bruins claimed Tinordi off waivers from the Nashville Predators on Saturday and he avoided a long time on the league’s COVID protocol list by driving from Nashville to Boston.
He’s also the first player in Bruins history to wear No. 84 and has 11 points (one goal, ten assists) in 88 career National Hockey League games for the Montreal Canadiens, Arizona Coyotes and Predators since making his league debut as a 20-year-old in the 48-game lockout shortened 2012-13 season.
The 6-foot-6, 205-pound Burnsville, Minnesota native will provide added depth to Boston’s blue line– already depleted by injuries throughout the 2020-21 season thus far.
Charlie Coyle was added to the league’s COVID protocol list prior to Wednesday night’s action and missed his first game this season as a result.
Coyle was the first Bruin to miss a game due to COVID protocol since Karson Kuhlman missed the first game of the season in New Jersey on Jan. 14th, due to a testing issue dating back to Jan. 5th, when Cassidy revealed why Kuhlman was “unfit to participate” in the club’s training camp activities.
The B’s were also without the services of Ondrej Kase (upper body), Kevan Miller (knee) and Jeremy Lauzon (fractured left hand) on Wednesday against Washington.
Coyle, John Moore, Greg McKegg, Steven Kampfer, Urho Vaakanainen and Callum Booth were all either in COVID protocol, a healthy scratch and/or taxi squad members for the B’s on Wednesday.
Kuhlman was assigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL) on Tuesday.
Wednesday night’s meeting with the Capitals also marked the first time that Chara returned to Boston as a member of the visiting team since March 16, 2006, when Chara was then a member of the Ottawa Senators defense.
Chara had one shot, two blocked shots and three hits in Ottawa’s, 3-2, shootout loss to the Bruins that night.
Brad Boyes and Patrice Bergeron each had a goal for Boston, while Jason Spezza and Antoine Vermette added goals for the Senators in the third period before Bergeron scored the only goal in the shootout.
The Bruins honored Chara with a tribute video that included well wishes from fans via Zoom.
Boston will not have fans at TD Garden until it is opened to about 12% capacity on March 22nd (with the first game featuring fans being a Bruins vs. Islanders matchup on March 23rd).
Fans will be able to give Chara an in-person standing ovation if everything goes according to plan on April 18th, when Washington returns to Boston after Friday’s game.
Early in the action, McAvoy was penalized for interference and presented the first power play of the night to the Capitals at 2:23 of the first period.
Washington did not convert on the ensuing skater advantage.
Moments later, David Pastrnak rang the post (twice on the same shot attempt) on a breakaway after the Bruins killed off McAvoy’s minor infraction.
Midway through the opening frame, the Caps thought they scored when T.J. Oshie received a pass through the low slot and banked a shot off of Tinordi’s stick past Rask, but the B’s challenged the call on the ice on the basis that they believed Oshie had entered the attacking zone offside.
Video review confirmed that the puck was airborne and not yet over the blue line while Oshie was well past breaking the plane and therefore offside.
The call on the ice was reversed as the Bruins were successful on the coach’s challenge.
The score remained, 0-0.
Moments later, Krejci tripped Alex Ovechkin, but Washington’s power play was powerless on the ensuing advantage at 14:19 of the first period– in part because of Ovechkin’s interference minor at 14:36 that resulted in abbreviated 4-on-4 action before Boston saw a short power play thereafter.
Ovechkin, meanwhile, collided with McAvoy in the neutral zone away from the puck resulting in his trip to the penalty box, but not before catching his breath a moment in light of the awkward collision.
Less than a minute after Ovechkin was in the box, the Bruins recorded their first shot on goal in the game at 15:28.
Late in the period, Richard Panik caught Wagner away from the play and received an interference penalty at 19:49.
Boston’s resulting power play would extend into the second period as both teams entered the first intermission tied, 0-0, on the scoreboard, despite Washington holding a, 7-2, advantage in shots on goal.
The Caps also led in blocked shots (3-2), takeaways (2-1) and faceoff win percentage (61-39), while the B’s held the advantage in giveaways (5-1) and hits (13-12).
Both teams were 0/2 on the power play and would remain as such, despite Ovechkin and Frederic each receiving a minor penalty in the third period (they were matching).
There were no goals and no penalties called in the second period as the two teams remained locked in a, 0-0, tie through 40 minutes of action, despite the Capitals holding an, 11-9, advantage in shots on goal.
Boston actually held a, 7-4, advantage in shots on goal in the second period alone, but Washington dominated in blocked shots (10-4), takeaways (4-3), hits (25-21) and faceoff win% (64-36).
The Bruins, meanwhile, led in giveaways (6-4) heading into the final frame of regulation.
Brad Marchand fed Pastrnak (10) a pass that No. 88 in black and gold redirected through Vanecek’s five-hole to give the Bruins the game’s first goal and lead, 1-0, at 1:19 of the third period.
Marchand (14) had the only assist on Pastrnak’s goal.
Less than five minutes later, the Capitals tied the game, 1-1, after Kuraly turned the puck over in his own zone, whereby Oshie broke up the play and sent a pass to Nick Jensen.
Jensen threw the puck on goal for a rebound that Panik scooped up and flipped to Lars Eller (5) for the surefire odd-angle shot from the side of the net that sneaked between Rask’s leg pad and the post over the goal line.
Panik (5) and Jensen (7) tallied the assists on Eller’s goal at 6:14 of the third period.
Late in the action, after Frederic checked Ovechkin and the two exchanged pleasantries behind Boston’s net– leaving Frederic with his gloves on the ice and ready to fight, Ovechkin and Frederic got tangled up once again near the boards in Boston’s attacking zone.
This time, Frederic delivered a few quick cross checks in rapid succession followed by a swift spear below the belt from Ovechkin to the first-year Bruins forward.
Ovechkin received a roughing minor, while Frederic picked up a cross checking minor infraction at 14:30.
The two teams resumed full even strength after two minutes of 4-on-4 action unscathed.
Three periods was not enough to decide Wednesday night’s action as the Bruins and Capitals were tied, 1-1, heading into overtime.
After 60 minutes of play, the Caps led in shots on goal, 23-18, including a, 12-9, advantage in the third period alone.
Washington also held the advantage in blocked shots (12-9), takeaways (7-3) and hits (28-25), while Boston led in giveaways (7-6). Both teams were 50-50 in faceoff win% and finished the night 0/2 on the power play as no penalties were called in the overtime period.
Caps head coach, Peter Laviolette, started Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and John Carlson in overtime, while Cassidy countered with Bergeron, Marchand and McAvoy.
Washington dominated play in overtime, while Rask made a pair of great saves that quite literally saved the game for Boston (at least holding the team over until the shootout).
After the five-minute extra frame wasn’t enough with the game still tied, 1-1, and the Capitals leading in shots on goal, 28-19, including a, 5-1, advantage in shots on goal in the overtime period alone– a shootout was required.
Washington finished the night leading in blocked shots (12-9) and hits (28-26), while Boston wrapped up Wednesday night’s action leading in faceoff win% (53-48). Both teams had seven giveaways aside.
DeBrusk kicked off the shootout for Boston, but was denied by Vanecek with a glove save.
Jakub Vrana countered with a deke for the Capitals before pulling the puck around Rask’s right pad and slipping the rubber biscuit between the post and the Bruins netminder’s skate to give Washington the, 1-0, edge after one round of the shootout.
Pastrnak made a nifty move to send a backhanded attempt off of Vanecek’s pad while trying to go five-hole.
Oshie responded with a shot that Rask gloved.
The Capitals held a, 1-0, advantage in the shootout entering the third round. All Marchand had to do when he stepped up for his shot was score to force Rask to make another save and extend the shootout.
Instead, Vanecek denied Marchand with a glove save and the Caps didn’t even need to take their third shot– winning the shootout in three rounds and sealing the deal on a, 2-1, shootout win in Boston.
Washington improved to 2-2 in shootouts this season, while Boston fell to 2-1.
The Bruins are now 5-3 past regulation this season, while the Capitals are 3-4 overall after 60 minutes.
The B’s also fell to 4-2-1 (2-1-1 at home) when tied after the first period and 3-3-2 (0-0-1 at home) when tied after two periods this season.
Meanwhile, Washington improved to 6-0-0 (4-0-0 on the road) when tied after the first period and 3-1-4 (1-0-2 on the road) when tied after two periods this season.
Boston also fell to 8-2-1 (4-0-1 at home) when scoring the game’s first goal, while the Caps improved to 5-2-2 (2-1-1 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal this season.
The Bruins and Capitals go at it again on Friday before Boston finishes up their three-game homestand on Sunday against the New Jersey Devils.
The Boston Bruins came back from being down, 3-0, only for Alex Ovechkin to do what he does best and score the game-winning goal less than a minute into overtime on Saturday night at Capital One Arena– giving the Washington Capitals the, 4-3, victory in the process.
Vitek Vanecek (5-0-2, 2.78 goals against average, .918 save percentage in seven games played) made 40 saves on 43 shots against for a .930 SV% in the win for the Capitals.
Bruins goaltender, Tuukka Rask (3-1-1, 2.49 GAA, .890 SV% in five games played), stopped 19 out of 23 shots faced for an .826 SV% in the overtime loss.
Boston fell to 5-1-2 (12 points) overall and slipped to 3rd place in the MassMutual NHL East Division, while Washington improved to 6-0-3 (15 points) and maintained their division lead.
Saturday night marked the first of eight meetings between Capitals defender, Zdeno Chara, and his most recent former team after spending 14 seasons as captain of the Bruins.
His last game against Boston was on April 11, 2006, as a member of the Ottawa Senators, in which Chara had two goals– including the game-winning goal in overtime– as the Sens beat the B’s, 4-3.
Chara had a plus-1 rating on Saturday and recorded one shot on goal, as well as one takeaway in 20:54 time on ice.
With David Pastrnak back in the lineup for the first time this season since undergoing a right hip arthroscopy and labral repair on Sept. 16th, Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy made a few adjustments to his lineup from Thursday night’s, 4-1, win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
First, Pastrnak was slotted into his usual spot on the first line right wing, while Karson Kuhlman also made his season debut in place of Jack Studnicka in the lineup and placed on the second line right wing.
Charlie Coyle was reunited with Trent Frederic and Craig Smith as his wingers on the third line, while Sean Kuraly was flanked by Anders Bjork and Chris Wagner on the fourth line.
On defense, Matt Grzelcyk remained out of the lineup with a lower body injury, so Connor Clifton suited up next to Brandon Carlo on the second pairing.
Ondrej Kase (upper body), Grzelcyk (lower body) and Jake DeBrusk (lower body) were out of the lineup due to injury, while Greg McKegg, Studnicka, Par Lindholm, John Moore, Urho Vaakanainen, Callum Booth and Dan Vladar made up Boston’s list of scratches and/or taxi squad members on Saturday.
Late in the opening frame, Nicklas Backstrom (5) generated a turnover and broke into the attacking zone with possession before the puck had crossed the blue line (putting the new interpretation of what’s “offside” to the eye-test as the Bruins did not use a coach’s challenge) before wiring a shot past Rask.
Backstrom’s goal was unassisted and gave the Capitals a, 1-0, lead at 18:06 of the first period.
It also came after a barrage of shots by Boston that were turned aside with ease by Vanecek. Talk about a momentum swing.
Less than a minute later, Washington presented the Bruins with the first power play of the night when Richard Panik tripped Coyle at 18:45.
The Bruins did not convert on the ensuing skater advantage, however.
With 12.3 seconds left in the first period, Pastrnak fired a shot that deflected off of Chara’s stick and hit the Capitals defender in the face. Chara returned for the second period with a minor scratch and some signs of blood loss, but was undeterred.
After 20 minutes of action at Capital One Arena, the Caps led, 1-0, despite trailing the B’s in shots on goal, 19-7.
Washington held the advantage in just about everything else, however, including blocked shots (10-2), takeaways (4-3) and hits (12-5), while Boston led in faceoff win percentage (58-42).
Both teams had four giveaways aside, while the Bruins were 0/1 on the power play.
The Capitals had yet to see time on the skater advantage.
Early in the middle frame, Washington established a net front presence that cut down on Rask’s line of sight enabling Trevor van Riemsdyk (1) to score his first goal as a Capital with a wrist from from the point while the Bruins netminder was screened.
Brenden Dillon (4) and Backstrom (7) tallied the assists on van Riemsdyk’s goal and the Caps extended their lead to, 2-0, at 5:22 of the second period.
Moments later, David Krejci hooked Nic Dowd and cut a rut to the penalty box, yielding a power play to the Capitals for the first and only time Saturday night at 8:39.
Late in the ensuing power play, after an attacking zone faceoff, Washington zipped the puck back to the point then to Tom Wilson at the faceoff dot for a shot that ricocheted off of Panik (1) and over Rask’s blocker.
Wilson (4) and Ovechkin (5) had the assists as Washington grabbed a, 3-0, lead thanks to Panik’s power-play goal at 10:03 of the second period.
Moments later, Garnet Hathaway was penalized for interference at 16:43 and Boston had a chance to answer on the power play.
The Bruins went to work as Nick Ritchie set himself up in front of the net while Patrice Bergeron sent a shot towards the crease, where the rubber biscuit first clipped Krejci on its way by before bouncing off of Ritchie (4) and into the twine.
Krejci (6) and Bergeron (4) were credited with the assists as Ritchie’s power-play goal pulled Boston to within two goals, trialing Washington, 3-1, at 17:32 of the second period.
Heading into the second intermission, the Caps led, 3-1, on the scoreboard, but the Bruins led, 34-17, in shots on goal, including a, 15-10, advantage in the second period alone.
Boston also led in faceoff win% (53-47), while Washington held the advantage in blocked shots (16-8), giveaways (6-4) and hits (27-9).
Both teams had six takeaways each.
The Capitals were 1/1, while the Bruins were 1/2 on the skater advantage entering the final frame of regulation.
Brad Marchand (5) fired a shot over Vanecek’s blocker side from point blank early in the third period to pull the Bruins to within one.
Off of an icing, Boston won the ensuing attacking zone faceoff and worked the puck from Bergeron to Charlie McAvoy then over to Marchand for the goal to make it, 3-2, at 6:03 of the third period.
McAvoy (6) and Bergeron (5) nabbed the assists on Marchand’s goal.
Less than a minute later, Jakub Vrana caught Jeremy Lauzon with a high stick and was sent to the box at 6:43, but the Bruins couldn’t convert on the resulting power play.
Late in the period, the Capitals lost count of their skaters and had too many on the ice with possession, thus rendering an automatic delay of game infraction at 14:04.
Conor Sheary served Washington’s bench minor, but Boston couldn’t tie the game on the resulting power play.
With 1:24 remaining in regulation, Rask vacated his net for an extra attacker.
Seconds later, Boston hacked away at the puck until McAvoy (1) slipped it through Vanecek for his first of the season at 19:02 of the third period– tying the game, 3-3, in the process.
Pastrnak (1) and Bergeron (6) tallied the assists on McAvoy’s game-tying goal as the Bruins forced overtime.
At the end of regulation, the game was tied, 3-3, despite the Bruins outshooting the Capitals, 43-22, including a, 9-5, advantage in the third period alone.
Washington led in blocked shots (25-10), takeaways (11-8) and hits (38-15), while Boston held the advantage in faceoff win% (55-45).
Both teams had nine giveaways each, while the Capitals finished the night 1/1 on the power play and the Bruins went 1/4 on the skater advantage as there were no penalties called in overtime.
Peter Laviolette sent out Backstrom, Ovechkin and John Carlson to start in overtime, while Cassidy matched with Krejci, Pastrnak and McAvoy.
The puck hadn’t even been on the ice for 30 seconds in overtime before Ovechkin (2) skated from his own end on a drop pass from Backstrom to the attacking end and ripped a shot over Rask’s blocker side from just after the blue line to win the game for Washington.
Backstrom (8) and Carlson (7) notched the assists on Ovechkin’s game-winning goal 28 seconds into the overtime period as the Capitals sealed the deal on the, 4-3, victory.
Boston never had possession in overtime prior to what was the 24th career regular season overtime game-winning goal for Ovechkin.
The Bruins finished the night leading in shots on goal, 43-23, despite trailing Washington in shots in overtime alone, 1-0.
Washington finished the night leading in blocked shots (26-10) and hits (38-15), while Boston led in faceoff win% (55-45).
Both teams finished Saturday night’s effort with nine giveaways aside.
The Capitals improved to 1-1 in overtime this season (2-3 overall past regulation), while the Bruins fell to 1-2 in overtime this season (3-2 past regulation).
Boston also fell to 0-0-2 when trailing after the first period, 1-0-1 when trailing after the second period and 1-1-2 when allowing the game’s first goal this season.
Despite all that, the B’s have not lost a game by more than one goal this season.
The Bruins continue their four-game road trip (0-0-1) with another matchup with the Capitals on Monday (Feb. 1st) before venturing to Philadelphia for two games against the Flyers on Feb. 3rd and Feb. 5th prior to returning home to Boston on Feb. 6th against the Buffalo Sabres.
The DTFR Podcast is back from hiatus as Nick provides a State of the Podcast, reviews a few things from the last couple of months and delves into all of the transactions leading up to the 2020 NHL trade deadline.
John Carlson scored the game-winning goal moments after the Boston Bruins tied the game in the third period Wednesday night as the Washington Capitals defeated the B’s, 3-2, at Capital One Arena.
Braden Holtby (16-3-4 record, 2.80 goals against average, .911 save percentage in 24 games played) made 30 saves on 32 shots against for a .938 SV% in the win for the Capitals.
Bruins goaltender, Jaroslav Halak (7-3-3, 2.28 GAA, .927 SV% in 13 games played) stopped 22 out of 25 shots faced for an .880 SV% in the loss.
Boston fell to 20-6-6 (46 points) on the season, but remains in command of 1st place in the Atlantic Division.
Meanwhile, Washington improved to 23-5-5 (51 points) and remained atop the Metropolitan Division.
The Bruins fell to 8-5-1 on the road this season and are now on a four-game losing streak.
Boston was without the services of Kevan Miller (knee), Karson Kuhlman (fractured tibia) and Zach Senyshyn (lower body) against Washington on Wednesday.
Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made a few minor changes to his lineup from Monday night’s, 5-2, loss in Ottawa.
First, Cassidy swapped Brett Ritchie with Danton Heinen on the third line– reuniting Anders Bjork, Charlie Coyle and Heinen on the third line, while promoting Ritchie to the second line right wing with Jake DeBrusk at left wing and David Krejci at center.
Finally, on defense, Connor Clifton went back into the lineup on the third pairing in place of John Moore.
Moore was joined by Par Lindholm and David Backes as Boston’s healthy scratches on Wednesday.
Midway through the opening frame, David Pastrnak (26) scored the game’s first goal after not scoring in his last four games.
Charlie McAvoy (10) and Brad Marchand (29) had the assists on Pastrnak’s goal as the NHL’s leading goal scorer went off the bar and in over Holtby’s glove at 9:36 of the first period to give the Bruins the, 1-0, lead.
Less than a minute later, after Tom Wilson got a cross check up high on Zdeno Chara, the B’s captain dropped the gloves with the Caps winger and landed a few big blows before wrestling the forward to the ice.
Chara and Wilson each received five-minute majors for fighting at 10:14, while Wilson received an additional two-minute minor for cross checking that was served by Brendan Leipsic.
It was the 6th fight this season for Boston and the first since Moore fought Zack Smith against the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 5th.
The Bruins did not score on the ensuing power play.
Jakub Vrana tripped up Torey Krug moments later at 14:17 and the B’s went back on the skater advantage for the second time of the night.
Boston thought they scored and had made it a two-goal game when Patrice Bergeron received a quick drop pass from DeBrusk and pocketed the rubber biscuit in the twine while Holtby outstretched his paddle, but Washington’s head coach, Todd Reirden, used his coach’s challenge to determine whether or not the Bruins entered the zone offside.
After review, it was determined that DeBrusk had entered the zone with his skate in the air over the blue line– something that’s not good enough for now in the current interpretation of the rule, but perhaps going to be resolved next season– and the call on the ice was overturned. No goal. Do not pass “go”. Do not collect $200.
In the final minute of the period, Joakim Nordstrom caught Nicklas Backstrom with a high stick at 19:26.
Washington’s power play carried over into the second period as the Capitals couldn’t convert on the skater advantage with 34 seconds left before the first intermission.
After 20 minutes of action in D.C., the B’s led the Caps, 1-0, on the scoreboard.
Shots on goal were even, 8-8, but the Bruins had the slight advantage over the Capitals in all the other major statistical categories, leading in blocked shots (7-4), giveaways (3-2) and faceoff win percentage (58-42).
Washington led in takeaways (7-3) and hits (11-9) heading into the second period.
The Caps were 0/1 on the power play, while Boston was 0/2 on the skater advantage.
Early in the middle frame, Washington had too many skaters on the ice, yielding a bench minor in the process at 1:31 of the second period.
Once more, the Bruins were held powerless on the power play, however.
Seconds after their legal skater advantage ended, Chris Wagner was charged with interference at 3:48 and the Capitals went on the power play.
T.J. Oshie (12) followed a rebound and poked the puck into the net while Halak reached behind himself in desperation.
Oshie’s goal tied the game, 1-1, and was assisted by Carlson (33) at 4:35 of the second period.
Less than four minutes later, Oshie (13) again broke free of Boston’s defense by deking through Clifton and scoring a backhand goal over Halak’s blocker side to give the Capitals their first lead of the night, 2-1, at 8:05.
Evgeny Kuznetsov (19) and Vrana (13) had the assists on Oshie’s 2nd goal of the game.
Late in the period, Coyle was assessed a holding penalty at 17:28, but the Bruins managed to kill off the minor and escaped without harm while Washington was on the skater advantage.
Through two periods of play, the Capitals led the Bruins, 2-1, on the scoreboard, despite the B’s advantage in shots on goal in the second period alone, 15-6.
Boston led in total shots on net, 23-14, as well as blocked shots (12-8), giveaways (7-4) and faceoff win% (57-43).
Meanwhile, Washington led in takeaways (11-5) and hits (28-12).
The Caps were 1/3 on the power play and the Bruins were 0/3 heading into the third period.
Wilson interfered with Pastrnak 19 seconds into the third period and was penalized as such, but the Bruins didn’t score on the power play.
Less than a minute after their power play expired, the B’s found the back of the net and tied the game, 2-2, when Krug fired a shot from the point off a faceoff that Sean Kuraly (3) deflected from the faceoff dot to the right of Holtby.
Krug (16) had the only assist on Kuraly’s goal at 2:53 of the third period and surpassed Glen Wesley for 5th place in overall scoring for a Bruins defender in franchise history.
Ray Bourque leads all Boston defenders with 1,506 career points in a B’s sweater, followed by Bobby Orr (888), Chara (479), Brad Park (417) and Krug (308).
The game wasn’t tied for long before Carlson (12) blasted a one-timer while pinching in from the point to give the Capitals a, 3-2, lead at 4:42.
Backstrom (16) and Wilson (10) had the assists on Carlson’s goal and Washington never looked back for the rest of the game.
Though Carlsson was penalized for tripping Pastrnak at 6:04, Boston’s power play had nothing going for it and once again was unsuccessful.
Midway through the final frame of regulation, Ritchie got tangled up with Garnet Hathaway after a whistle and the two players received roughing minors at 10:13– resulting in two-minutes of 4-on-4 action.
With 1:43 remaining in the game, Cassidy utilized his timeout and pulled Halak for an extra attacker after a stoppage in play.
The Bruins were not successful in tying the game and forcing overtime as the final horn sounded– sealing the deal on Washington’s, 3-2, victory.
Boston finished the night with the advantage in shots on goal, 32-25, despite trailing in the third period alone, 11-9, to Washington.
The B’s finished Wednesday night leading in blocked shots (18-15), giveaways (15-9) and faceoff win% (59-41), while the Caps led in hits (40-20).
Washington went 1/3 on the skater advantage, while Boston finished the night 0/5 on the power play.
The Bruins have lost 16 out of their last 17 games against Washington, while the Capitals are 24-0-0 in games against Boston when Backstrom earns at least a point since he entered the league in the 2007-08 season.
The Bruins are now 11-2-0 when leading after the first period and 13-4-3 when scoring the game’s first goal this season. They are also 4-5-3 when trailing after two periods thus far.
Boston continues their four-game road trip (0-2-0) Thursday in Tampa with a matchup against the Lightning before wrapping up their current road trip in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday against the Panthers
Braden Holtby and the Washington Capitals came back to beat the Boston Bruins, 3-2, in a shootout on Saturday at TD Garden.
Holtby (10-1-3 record, 2.98 goals against average, .904 save percentage in 15 games played) is now 13-1-0 in his last 14 starts against Boston and made 21 saves on 23 shots against (.913 SV%) in the win for the Caps.
Jaroslav Halak (4-1-3, 2.57 GAA, .924 SV% in eight games played) stopped 42 out of 44 shots faced for a .955 SV% in the shootout loss.
Prior to puck drop, the Bruins held a moment of remembrance for Worcester firefighter, Jason Menard, who was killed while battling a fire on Wednesday.
Menard rescued a probationary firefighter and another member of his crew before a mayday was called around 1:32 in the morning after conditions worsened on the third floor of the three-decker building.
Before tonight’s game, we pause to remember the life of one of Worcester’s bravest, lieutenant Jason J. Menard. pic.twitter.com/MHyJ0N0xuD— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) November 17, 2019
The Bruins fell to 12-3-5 (29 points) on the season, but remain 1st in the Atlantic Division after the loss.
Meanwhile, Washington is still in command of 1st place in the Metropolitan Division with a 15-3-4 record and 34 points on the season so far.
Boston fell to 7-0-4 at home as a result of Saturday’s loss.
Steven Kampfer served as Boston’s only healthy scratch with Kevan Miller (knee), John Moore (shoulder), Karson Kuhlman (fractured tibia), David Backes (upper body), Jake DeBrusk (lower body), Brett Ritchie (upper body), Torey Krug (upper body) and Zach Senyshyn (lower body) out of the lineup due to injury.
Joining them in the press box Saturday night was Patrice Bergeron (lower body), who sustained some discomfort during Friday night’s matchup in Toronto.
As a result, Paul Carey was recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL).
The 31-year-old center has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 17 games with Providence this season and skated in his 100th career NHL game as a result of being recalled on Saturday.
Krug, in the meantime, was placed on the injured reserve on Saturday, despite skating earlier in the morning with Ritchie, DeBrusk and Moore.
Of the injured Bruins, Ritchie is the closest to returning to the lineup, according to B’s head coach, Bruce Cassidy.
Cassidy juggled his lines from Friday night to Saturday night thanks to Bergeron’s day-to-day status, moving David Krejci up to center the first line with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak as his wings, while reuniting Anders Bjork, Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen as a trio on the second line.
Boston’s usual fourth liners– Joakim Nordstrom, Sean Kuraly and Chris Wagner– were promoted to third line duties, while Trent Frederic, Par Lindholm and Carey comprised of the new fourth line for Saturday night’s action.
The defensive pairings remained the same from Friday night against the Maple Leafs to Saturday night against the Capitals.
Midway through the opening period, Pastrnak hooked Jakub Vrana and was sent to the penalty box. The Caps didn’t convert on the ensuing power play at 8:03 of the first period.
In the vulnerable minute after special teams play, Heinen worked the puck deep into Boston’s attacking zone, then sent a pass to Coyle (4) as Coyle crashed the net and redirected the puck through Holtby’s five-hole– giving the Bruins a, 1-0, lead at 11:32 of the first period.
Heinen (5) and Charlie McAvoy (5) notched the assists on the goal.
The goal extended Coyle’s current point streak to four games (a career-high).
Moments later, Travis Boyd (1) tipped in a shot from the point while standing in front of Halak, tying the game, 1-1, in the process.
John Carlson (24) and Brendan Leipsic (5) tallied the assists on Boyd’s goal at 14:27.
With less than a minute remaining in the opening frame, Radko Gudas hooked Marchand and was sent to the sin bin, leaving Washington shorthanded into the second period as Boston couldn’t score on the skater advantage before time expired in the first period.
After one period in Boston, the score was tied, 1-1, while the Capitals led in shots on goal, 18-9. It was the most shots allowed by the Bruins in the first period at any point this season, but the B’s led in blocked shots (4-0) and takeaways (4-3) to make up for it.
Washington also managed the advantage in giveaways (9-3), hits (13-11) and faceoff win percentage (72-28) entering the first intermission.
Both teams were 0/1 on the power play heading into the middle frame.
The Capitals killed off the remainder of Gudas’ penalty early in the second period as things resumed at TD Garden.
Early in the period, McAvoy missed an empty net, sending the puck wide and off the endboards, whereby Pastrnak (17) gathered the carom and banked the puck into the twine to give Boston the lead, 2-1, at 3:30 of the second period.
McAvoy (6) and Krejci (9) picked up the assists on the goal as the Bruins surged out of the gate for the middle frame before falling back on a heavy defensive presence in their own zone for the remainder of the period.
About a minute later, Heinen hooked Leipsic and was sent to the box at 4:42.
Washington did not convert on the resulting skater advantage and responded with a penalty of their own midway through the period.
Holtby tripped up Carey as the Bruins forward skated by the crease, yielding a minor infraction for the Capitals goaltender that was served by Leipsic at 10:05.
With 16 seconds left in the period, Evgeny Kuznetsov cross checked McAvoy and was charged with a minor penalty at 19:44, meaning the B’s would still be on the power play into the third period if they couldn’t score by the end of the second period.
Boston didn’t score and carried their advantage into the third period as the Bruins led, 2-1, through 40 minutes of action Saturday night.
The Caps led in shots on goal, 30-15, after two periods– including a, 12-6, advantage in the second period alone– and held the advantage in takeaways (9-8), giveaways (11-9), hits (21-16) and faceoff win% (72-28), while the Bruins led in blocked shots (10-0).
Washington was 0/2 on the power play through two periods and Boston was 0/3 on the skater advantage in that same span.
Midway through the final frame of regulation, Tom Wilson tried to mix things up with McAvoy after each player had big hits in the third period.
Wilson grabbed hold of McAvoy’s stick– but was not penalized for holding the stick– and exchanged words with the young defender until Bruins captain, Zdeno Chara, skated over to offer his opinion on the subject matter– at which point, Wilson fell over and the two (Chara and Wilson) were assessed roughing minors at 13:59 of the third period.
The two teams survived 4-on-4 action unscathed for two minutes before returning to full strength.
With 1:22 left in the third period, Capitals head coach, Todd Reirden, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker and it was very effective.
T.J. Oshie (10) blasted a one-timer from the low slot over Halak’s glove side to tie the game, 2-2, at 19:01 of the third period.
Kuznetsov (11) and Nicklas Backstrom (13) had the assists on Oshie’s goal as Washington force overtime.
After regulation, the score was tied, 2-2, and the Caps led the B’s in shots on goal, 41-21– including an, 11-6, advantage for Washington in the third period alone.
Boston led in blocked shots (11-5), while Washington led in takeaways (14-12), giveaways (20-13), hits (28-23) and faceoff win% (66-34).
The Capitals finished the night 0/2 on the power play and the Bruins finished 0/3 on the skater advantage as there were no more penalties called after 60 minutes of play.
Kuznetsov, Carlson, Wilson, Coyle, Marchand and McAvoy were the starters in overtime for both teams as the two squads couldn’t get the job done in the five-minute allotted extra frame of 3-on-3 action.
Washington led in shots on goal, 3-2, in overtime alone, bringing their shot total advantage to, 44-23.
Boston finished the night leading in blocked shots (11-5), but trailing the Capitals in giveaways (20-15), hits (28-23) and faceoff win% (67-33).
In the shootout, the B’s elected to shoot second, yielding Oshie as the shootout’s first shooter for Washington.
Oshie skated his way in toward Halak and tried to fire one past the Bruins netminder’s glove, but Halak made the save.
Coyle followed up with Boston’s first attempt of the shootout and slid one through Holtby’s five-hole to give the Bruins a, 1-0, advantage after one shootout round.
Kuznetsov hit the post to the right of Halak and couldn’t muster the puck into the twine, leaving Pastrnak with the chance to win it as Boston’s second shooter.
Instead, Pastrnak went for the gaping five-hole that Holtby quickly squeezed his pads together to close after poking the puck off of Pastrnak’s stick and letting the rubber biscuit slide through his legs with just enough time to cover it comfortably.
Next up, Backstrom wired a shot into the back of the net on Halak’s glove side– keeping Washington’s shootout hopes alive.
With the game on his stick, Marchand tried to do exactly what every Bruin has done in just about every shootout attempt this season– aim for the five-hole.
Marchand was unsuccessful.
In the fourth round of the shootout, the Caps sent in their best shot– Alex Ovechkin.
Ovechkin tried to sneak it past Halak, low on his glove side, but the Boston goaltender dove in desperation and robbed the Washington captain– barely getting his glove around the puck before Ovechkin could sneak it over the goal line.
In response, Cassidy sent Krejci out to try to win the game with the last shot in the fourth round of the shootout.
But Krejci also opted for the predictable five-hole and did not score, leaving the fate of the game undecided.
Vrana opened the fifth round of the shootout with a toe-drag that left Halak doing the splits, which was just enough to let Vrana elevate the puck over Halak’s leg pads and into the net.
Boston had to score on their next shot or else the shootout (and the game) would be over.
As such, Wagner was presented the opportunity to extend the shootout, but he too, tried to go five-hole on Holtby, who didn’t face much pressure on the shot as the puck trickled through the crease and wide of the goalframe.
The Capitals had won.
Washington improved to 3-1 in shootouts this season, while Boston fell to 0-4 in such instances.
Holtby improved to 25-14 overall in shootouts in his career as Halak stumbled to 32-33 in shootouts.
The Bruins fell to 7-0-2 when leading after two periods this season and 10-2-3 when scoring the game’s first goal.
Boston travels to New Jersey to take on the Devils next Tuesday (Nov. 19th) before a two-game homestand against Buffalo (Nov. 21st) and Minnesota (Nov. 23rd).
The B’s close out November with back to back nights in Montreal (Nov. 26th) and Ottawa (Nov. 27th) before finishing the month at home against the New York Rangers in a Black Friday matinee on Nov. 29th.