(Photo Credit: John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Jason Cooke | Follow me on Twitter / X @cookejournalism

It wasn’t looking good for the Boston Bruins on Saturday night. Just 57 seconds into overtime against the Washington Capitals, Hampus Lindholm committed a double minor high-sticking penalty to leave Boston shorthanded for the rest of the five-minute frame.

So Boston’s penalty kill unit dug in, killing off all four minutes to force a shootout against the point-hungry Captials. Kevin Shattenkirk’s game-winning goal in the fifth round completed the epic turnaround, as the Bruins stole the extra point at Capital One Arena on their fourth leg of a six-game road trip. The Bruins—who have already secured a playoff berth—improve to 43-17-15 with seven games remaining in the regular season. Lindholm and John Beecher lit the lamp in regulation for the Bruins as Jeremy Swayman made 18 saves in goal.

The Bruins were the better team on Saturday, outshooting Washington 29-20 while controlling most of the play. Boston blocked a whopping 29 shots to deter most of the Capitals offense, including five from Brandon Carlo. However, perhaps the most notable defensive play of the game came in the early minutes of the first period when Lindholm slid across the crease behind Swayman to deter an incoming shot.

“You don’t really think too much,” Lindholm said to the media of his first-period save. “It’s in the back of your head, try to prevent them from scoring. I didn’t think a whole lot, just tried to help out in the best way I could do.”

After saving a goal, he scored one of his own–his first in 51 games. The steady blueliner controlled the puck along the attacking blue line, throwing a puck toward Charlie Lindgren over a ducking Brad Marchand to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

The Capitals didn’t waste any time getting it back in the second, as Michael Sgarbossa knotted the game at 18:40. Nick Jensen sent the puck off the boards up ice to find a streaking Sgarbossa on a partial breakaway, snapping a quick wrist shot over the blocker of Swayman to light the lamp. That goal didn’t sit right with Beecher.

Beecher caused a turnover in Boston’s defensive zone, beating Dylan Strome in a foot race to create a breakaway opportunity. He made a quick head fake to his left, shifting the puck to his backhand before sliding it five-hole to regain the lead just over a minute later. Since being called up from Providence this month, the 22-year-old forward has posted 2-1-3 and has made his case to remain with the big club in the playoffs.

“I was just trying to hold the dot line there in the D-zone,” Beecher said to the media after the win. “That’s just part of our process, and they tried to slip it through and it hit my foot and was able to get a step on him. I usually tend to go five-hole on the breakaways and was able to slip it through, so I’m happy about it.”

However, Washington had a response, capitalizing on a power play opportunity with 5:57 to play in the middle frame. In his 1,000th career game, John Carlson found twine on a backdoor feed from Max Pacioretty to tie the game at two. The Capitals caught Carlo puck-watching along the crease, allowing Carlson to go unnoticed behind him to have an open net for the score. Carlson tied Kevin Hatcher for the most goals by a defenseman in franchise history.

The Bruins continued to knock on the door with some high-percentage scoring opportunities. Still, they couldn’t break through in regulation, and they found themselves in yet another overtime. But they didn’t get many opportunities to win the game, as Lindholm’s penalty against T.J. Oshie put them in an uncomfortable four-on-three situation. Multiple blocked shots, clears, and saves later, and the Bruins escaped unscathed to the shootout.

(Photo Credit: John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images)

Even the shootout wasn’t easy, going five rounds amidst five goals. Jake DeBrusk opened the scoring, going top shelf on Lindgren to put Boston in the driver’s seat. David Pastrnak followed Strome’s goal with a tally, sneaking a wrist shot just past Lindgren that trickled over the goal line. The teams continued to trade goals as Sonny Milano and Shattenkirk cashed in their respective bids until Swayman stoned Connor McMichael with a glove save to secure the victory.

Boston is back in action on Tuesday as the road trip continues against the Nashville Predators for an 8 p.m. puck drop.