By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @ndrsn27
Thankfully, my game four simulation missed wildly on pretty much every prediction. In case you missed it, the simulation predicted the Capitals to win 6-2 and tie the series up at two games apiece (you can read the full article here). What really happened, though, was the Bruins played their best game of the series and took a 3-1 series lead with a 4-1 victory.
Going into game five, the Bruins will have a chance to move onto the second round for the fourth year in a row. Does my simulation think they can do it? Without further ado, let’s find out!
With their backs against the wall, the Capitals came out hot in the first period. Their top line took control, and just two minutes into the game, Alex Ovechkin carried the puck into the offensive zone. After losing it for about a second, Ovechkin collected the puck and fired a pass across the ice to T.J. Oshie, who made no mistake whatsoever and opened up the scoring in game five.
From there, the Bruins controlled play and finally broke through on a power-play late in the period. The first unit started the man advantage with one minute and a half left to play in the first. After a good faceoff win, Matt Grzelcyk let David Pastrnak set up the formation at the top of an umbrella. Pastrnak wasn’t pressured by a Capitals forward, so he took the space and whipped a wrist shot into the bottom corner of the net. With his goal, the Bruins went into the intermission tied at one.
In the second period, the Capitals came to life again and started controlling the game. Patrice Bergeron took a tripping penalty less than five minutes into the period, but the penalty kill stood tall and stopped the Capitals from taking the lead. The Bruins survived the Washington onslaught and took the game into the third period tied.
With the Capitals in desperation mode, the Bruins looked to pounce on them in the third. About halfway through the period, Anthony Mantha took a penalty to put the Bruins up a man. Once again, the Boston powerplay went to work, and immediately off the faceoff, Pastrnak found Brad Marchand for a one-timer that flew past Ilya Samsonov’s blocker into the top right corner. The enormous goal would be Marchand’s fourth in the five games of the series so far, making him an early favorite for the Conn Smythe for playoff MVP.
As the Capitals continued to push for a tying goal, the Bruins turned the game into a cagey affair, clogging up the neutral zone and sacrificing offense to make sure the Caps couldn’t muster anything. The Capitals only were able to produce a single shot on goal in the third period, and even when they pulled their goalie, the Bruins committed to staying strong defensively to turn away any attacks.
Final Score: Bruins 2 – Capitals 1; Bruins win series 4-1
The simulation predicted the Bruins to win the series tonight! I hope it does turn out to be accurate again, and I wouldn’t mind two power-play goals either. It’s always nice to have your powerplay rolling during the summer months of the NHL season.
I think the Bruins looked great last game, so if they can build on that momentum and put together another great game in game five, I think we could be seeing the series end. Game five will be Sunday, May 23rd at 7:00 pm on USA Network and NESN.