By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
Less than 24 hours removed from their 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the 12-3-4 Boston Bruins are right back at it tonight against the Washington Capitals who have the best record in the National Hockey League but felt short last night against the Montreal Canadiens.
Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Home: Boston Bruins (12-3-4)
Away: Washington Capitals (14-3-4)
Bruins Last Game: 4-2 win vs TOR
Bruins Gameday Lineup:
Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron is out with a lower-body injury, he is considered day-to-day. Forward Paul Carey will play in his 100th career NHL game as a replacement.
The opening minutes of this hockey game starts out pretty even, but it seems that the Capitals are getting a bit more zone time and a few more chances in Boston’s end. That said, the Bruins seem to be playing responsible hockey on the defensive side and they are holding their own against a solid Washington team.
Not long after the Bruins successfully killed off David Pastrnak’s hooking minor, Danton Heinen makes a slick pass from right near the boards to Charlie Coyle in the slot who taps the puck five-hole past Braden Holtby – Bruins score first, it’s 1-0.
This game has been entertaining so far, with both teams getting bids on either goaltender. However, only three minutes after Coyle’s game-opening tally, Travis Boyd scores his first goal of the 2019-20 season off of a couple deflections near the net and Washington ties the game.
In the final minutes of the period, the action amped up even more when the Bruins get their first power-play of the contest with just around 38 seconds remaining. Boston fails to get any chances on the reduced man-advantage due to Pastrnak turning the puck over and allowing the Capitals a shorthanded bid that gets stopped by Halak, but they will start the second frame with over a minute of power-play time.
Not the best period for Boston because of the lack of really good offensive chances, but they did strike on 5-on-5 and are in a tie with one of the top teams in the NHL.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 9 WSH: 18
Score: 1-1 Goals – Coyle (4) Assists: Heinen (5), McAvoy (5); Boyd (1) Assists: Carlson (24), Leipsic (5)
Bruce Cassidy must have said something in the locker room during the first intermission because shortly after the penalty on Washington expired, the Bruins set up a beautiful tic-tac-toe play for Charlie McAvoy who misses the net wide, however, Pastrnak on the goal line buries it on what seemed like an impossible shot, Bruins take a 2-1 lead early on in the second.
Danton Heinen takes a penalty a few minutes after Boston’s goal – another hooking minor. It seems like the officials are calling these stick infractions a lot tonight, Bruins need to be more careful or it may come back to haunt them. Regardless, the penalty-kill looks great and it is back to even-strength.
With 9:55 remaining in the second frame, John Carlson gets his stick caught in the skates of forward Paul Carey who was called up early today and Boston goes to the power-play. They are unable to capitalize and then Washington comes back with a long, dangerous time in Boston’s zone including a one-timer shot that beats Halak, but not the post. Bruins survive the onslaught for now.
The remainder of the period was a good one, but Washington has been the better team offensively – a direct result of the shot department. Bruins ahead by one heading into the final regulation period.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 15 WSH: 30
Score: 2-1 Bruins – Pastrnak (17) Assists: McAvoy (6), Krejci (9)
The third period starts off just as the rest of the game has been – back-and-forth hockey for a good majority of the opening period and the Bruins have been looking solid on both sides of the puck. It does, however, seem like Boston is content playing more of a defensive game to keep their one-goal advantage, but they have to be careful to not get too defensive.
After Tom Wilson absolutely destroys Chris Wagner with a massive body-to-body hit, the Capitals get a good offensive chance to score on an odd-man rush but Charlie McAvoy makes a tremendous effort to backcheck and he manages to disrupt the shooter enough to prevent a shot altogether, a great move from the young defenceman.
As tensions rise with the minutes ticking away, Alex Ovechkin nails McAvoy along the end boards, only for McAvoy to lay a heavy hit on Tom Wilson when the play went the other way. Wilson didn’t like the hit and grabbed McAvoy’s stick. As the two begin to scuffle, captain Zdeno Chara comes to the aid of McAvoy and grabs Wilson. Chara and Wilson each go off for roughing, four-on-four hockey coming up.
Just around halfway into the 4-on-4 session, Charlie Coyle makes a great neutral zone play to steal the puck and get in on a rush towards the net, becoming a breakaway, but Holtby follows Coyle brilliantly to make the pad save. Chara and Wilson’s penalties expire with 3:53 remaining in the third period.
Washington comes just inches away from equalizing the hockey game when Halak attempts to play the puck from behind his net that goes to Wilson and eventually to John Carlson. Carlson’s bomb from the point makes the identifiable “ding” off the post and stays out, 3:04 left to go.
The Capitals pull the goalie with a little over a minute remaining in the game and with the extra man, bury the tying goal. Evgeni Kuznetsov takes the puck behind the net and throws it out front for T.J. Oshie who slaps it home, 2-2 with 58 seconds left in regulation.
This game is going to 3-on-3 overtime.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 21 WSH: 41
As soon as the puck is dropped for overtime, Tom Wilson takes a stick up high from Brad Marchand with no call made and then Kuznetsov gets a breakaway in on Jaroslav Halak but Halak somehow manages to make a save to keep it tied for now.
Washington has had the majority of puck possession halfway through overtime, making smart passes and zone entries but on two shots – one from Alex Ovechkin and one from T.J. Oshie missed the net way wide when they tried to snipe it. Boston has not had any chances to bury the game-winning goal yet.
Capitals get another great chance on an outlet pass but Urho Vaakanainen does an amazing job staying strong on Kuznetsov, making it pretty easy for Halak to read the play and make the save. This play from Vaakanainen came moments after he nearly buried it. A great shift for the young prospect. Overtime ends there, the always-loved shootout will end this entertaining affair.
WSH T.J Oshie – NO GOAL
BOS Charlie Coyle – GOAL
WSH Evgeny Kuznetsov – NO GOAL
BOS David Pastrnak – NO GOAL
WSH Nicklas Backstrom – GOAL
BOS Brad Marchand – NO GOAL
WSH Alex Ovechkin – NO GOAL
BOS David Krejci – NO GOAL
WSH Jakub Vrana – GOAL
BOS Chris Wagner – NO GOAL
Final Score: 3-2 Capitals
Max’s Three Stars:
1st Star: BOS G Jaroslav Halak – 42 Saves, .955 SV%
2nd Star: WSH F T.J. Oshie – 1 Goal (Game-Tying), 6 Shots, 21:03 TOI
3rd Star: BOS D Charlie McAvoy – 2 Assists, 23:23 TOI
Boston falls to 12-3-5 with the shootout loss, but take 3-out-of-4 possible points in this back-to-back weekend. Up next, New Jersey Devils on Tuesday in New Jersey.