By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @ndrsn27
Well, folks, I think it is safe to say that the game three simulation was not nearly as accurate as our game two prediction was. The simulation did get a couple of the goal scorers correct by predicting that Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand would score, but considering the simulation predicted the whole first and fourth lines to score, I don’t think it is super impressive to get two out of seven correct.
What matters, though, is that in the simulation and in real life, the Bruins won game three and took a two to one series lead on Wednesday! Hopefully, in real life, they can extend the lead to three to one, but for now, let’s see what EA Sports has to say.
The Capitals struck first in our simulation and not too long into the game, either. With just two and a half minutes off the clock, Evgeny Kuznetsov was able to sneak around Charlie McAvoy and zip a pass across the ice to T.J. Oshie, who made no mistake sending the puck into the back of the net. The Capitals would take that 1-0 lead into the second period, dominating the Bruins 7-3 in shots during the first.
The second period started off almost exactly as the first did. With 17:37 left on the clock, Evgeny Kuznetsov again found himself with space behind the Bruins’ defense. This time he decided to take it himself and was able to find the bottom corner past Tuukka Rask’s blocker. The power-play goal doubled the Capitals’ lead to 2-0.
Just about three minutes later, the Capitals increased their lead again. This time it was a gritty effort by Lars Eller, who took the puck out of the left corner, and after giving it up to a player in the slot, he followed his pass towards the net and picked up an eventual loose puck and slid it between Rask’s legs. Eller did not play in game three for the Capitals because of an injury, but I’m not sure if it’s serious enough to keep him out of game four as well.
Looking to fight back into the game, the Bruins second line went to work. Hall used his speed to get behind the Capitals’ defense and chipped a puck towards the net. Ilya Samsonov spilled a soft bad rebound, and game three overtime hero Craig Smith capitalized on it to pull the lead back to 3-1. That’s how the second period would end, and the Bruins hoped to mount a comeback in the third.
In what seems to be a pretty realistic prediction, the Bruins took a penalty just minutes into the third period. This is something that I could easily see happening to the real-life Bruins, especially with the poor discipline they’ve been showing this series.
The Capitals power-play went to work, and Eller was able to find Tom Wilson to essentially put the game away. Garnet Hathaway and Anthony Mantha added insurance markers for the Caps, while Chris Wagner scored a late consolation goal for the B’s. It’s not the result fans are hoping for, though.
Final Score: Capitals 6 – Bruins 2
If I had to guess, I wouldn’t bank on this simulation being too accurate for game four. The Bruins and Caps are so evenly matched, as we’ve seen based on the three straight overtime games. I would predict a close matchup for game four as well, but you really never know when one of these teams could explode for a few goals. Game 4 will take place in real life on Friday, May 21, at 6:30 pm (unless they have 10 minutes of pregame coverage again).