By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
Hall – Krejci – Smith
Ritchie – Coyle – DeBrusk
Kuraly – Lazar – Wagner
Grzelcyk – McAvoy
Reilly – Carlo
Tinordi – Clifton
Ovechkin – Backstrom – Mantha
Sprong – Kuznetsov – Wilson
Sheary – Eller – Oshie
Hagelin – Dowd – Hathaway
Orlov – Carlson
Dillon – Schultz
Chara – Jensen
A fast start came to a brief halt following a scrum after a big hit from Zdeno Chara on Craig Smith. Taylor Hall and Garnet Hathaway both went to the box for roughing, creating a 4-on-4 at the 14:51 mark. Nothing came of the extra space to work with on the score sheet.
David Pastrnak took a tripping penalty late in the 4-on-4, giving the Capitals 23 seconds of 4-on-3 time to work with. As the Bruins were killing the penalty, Charlie McAvoy created an early highlight, stepping up on Tom Wilson at the defensive blue line and laying the body.
Jake DeBrusk and Chris Wagner nearly converted on a 2-on-1 not too long after even-strength play finally resumed. But not for long as following the 2-on-1 chance, Wilson cross-checked DeBrusk and sat for two as a result. The Bruins had a few really nice chances on the power play, but couldn’t convert.
Tuukka Rask made the early save of the game, robbing Conor Sheary on a prime back door chance. Lars Eller found the hole in the defense to make the pass, but Rask was ready for the potential of a scoring chance from Sheary.
Brad Marchand took a roughing penalty at the 3:46 mark of the period in a battle for body positioning with John Carlson. The Bruins killed it off, but things weren’t all peachy in the final minutes, as Smith went off for tripping with 29 seconds remaining. The Capitals outshot the Bruins ten to nine in the first period. Their penalty kill as a whole, including Rask were the collective MVP of the first 20 minutes.
The Capitals created some nice chances during the abridged power play they had from late in the first period, but couldn’t convert. Pastrnak went on to get the goal-scoring started with the first shot of the period just 2:28 in. Mike Reilly had the lone assist on the highlight reel goal, his first of the playoffs to set up Pastrnak’s second goal in as many games.
Daniel Sprong took a holding penalty in a battle with Jarred Tinordi at the 16:12 mark, giving the Bruins an opportunity to double their lead. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t capitalize.
They did end up scoring the game’s next goal though, as Patrice Bergeron made it 2-0 with his second of the playoffs. Like the Pastrnak goal, Reilly had the primary assist on the goal, while Pastrnak added the secondary assist for his fourth helper of the playoffs.
That’s right… two goals on the first three shots of the second period for the Bruins. That’s one way to be efficient. Connor Clifton stole the show in the physical aspect of the game this time, much like McAvoy did in the first period.
Despite being outshot 20 to four in the second period, the Bruins were doing enough to keep the game in a comfortable position for themselves. They had some nice stints of offensive zone possession, and scoring chances for the Capitals weren’t too extreme overall. With such a lopsided shot total in favor of the Capitals, their overall advantage in that regard was 30 to 13 through 40 minutes.
Score: 2-0 Boston
Sheary corralled his own rebound very early on to get the Capitals on the board just 11 seconds into the period. That’s one way to have a hot start and the tone was set emphatically going forward. Fast forward a bit and following a rush by Clifton, Hall stayed back on defense and made a massive play at the defensive blue line to stifle a zone entry for the Capitals.
Bergeron potted his second insurance marker of the game, making it 3-1 this time at the 7:35 mark. Since he intercepted an attempted Capitals breakout, the goal was unassisted. Although it was unassisted, Pastrnak’s screen in front of Ilya Samsonov certainly helped Bergeron.
Reilly went off for cross-checking shortly after the goal by Bergeron. It appeared Eller had cut the deficit to one during the power play, but the goal was disallowed due to Evgeny Kuznetsov pushing Rask before the goal was scored.
Sprong took a tripping penalty at the 3:42 mark, presenting the Bruins with a timely opportunity to put the game further out of reach. Even though they couldn’t add a fourth goal, they closed the game and the series out. Rask made 40 saves to match the number on his back in this crucial game.
While just 19 shots on goal may look measly, it was enough to close out the series. Shots on goal in the third period were 11 to six in favor of the Capitals. Now the Bruins await the winner of the series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders.
Score: 3-1 Boston