(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara – USA TODAY Sports)
Home: Boston Bruins
Away: Washington Capitals
Marchand – Bergeron – Pastrnak
DeBrusk – Krejci – Backes
Kuraly – Acciari – Wagner
Donato – JFK – Heinen
Chara – Carlo
Krug – Moore
Grzelcyk – Miller
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Wilson
Vrana – Backstrom – Oshie
Connolly – Eller – Boyd
Stephenson – Dowd – Smith-Pelly
Kempny – Carlson
Orlov – Niskanen
Orpik – Siegenthaler
If history were to repeat itself, this one would have been an ugly one, as the Bruins haven’t beaten the Capitals in ages. Capitals netminder Braden Holtby was 15-2-0 against the Bruins in his career heading into this one, so the Bruins were looking to flip the script on the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Bruins found themselves on the power play just less than two minutes in as Brad Marchand was taken down by Jonas Siegenthaler – who put Washington on the penalty kill with a holding penalty. Despite a couple chance including an excellent one from Matt Grzelcyk in the dying seconds, the Bruins failed to convert on their first power play. Jaroslav Halak kept things scoreless shortly after the conclusion of the power play with an acrobatic save on Tom Wilson.
Jakub Vrana somehow snuck his way behind John Moore and Torey Krug and made no mistake depositing his 15th of the season to make it 1-0 Capitals. Chances came and went for the Bruins after the goal, but Holtby, as he usually does, had their number. He shut them out in the season opener and continued to reign supreme in the first period. Through 16 minutes, the shots were 14-5 Bruins. Not even a perfect-looking wraparound from Ryan Donato could beat Holtby.
The shots in the period finished at a whopping 17-5 in favor of the Bruins, but no dice. One miscue when it comes to situational awareness put them behind in the first. From here on out, it was time to play catch up.
Score: 1-0 Washington
After controlling the beginning of the period pretty well, Patrice Bergeron took a rare tripping penalty to put the Bruins down a man. The Capitals came into this game two for their last 35 on the power play. The Bruins killed the penalty and not too long after Lars Eller found himself tied up with Brad Marchand and David Backes behind the play and went to the box for it. Agitator gon’ agitate as Marchand baited Eller into taking an undisciplined penalty, Washington loses their second most important penalty killer in terms of shorthanded time on ice.
No matter how many chances came their way, the Bruins remained snakebitten against the Capitals. Halfway through the game, the shots were 22-7 Bruins, and they were losing – something had to give. To make matters worse, Brandon Carlo sat for two thanks to a tripping penalty just past the halfway point of the period and the game.
Ryan Donato finally broke the curse after a healthy sequence in the offensive zone and a great saucer pass from Torey Krug. Donato’s sixth of the season tied the game, assisted by Krug (25), and Forsbacka-Karlsson (4).
The tied score didn’t last long as Alexander Ovechkin did what he does a lot, and that is score goals. 2-1 Capitals with 5:10 to go in the frame. The Bruins face cruel circumstances whenever they face the Capitals. Eight shots, two goals.
Chris Wagner laid an iffy hit on Michal Kempny and Wilson came in and hit him up high. Tom Wilson did something stupid, water is wet. Carry on.
Krug slammed Brett Connolly to the ground after being held to make things interesting late in the period, Connolly sat for two minutes. Despite still heavily outshooting the Capitals 28-12 overall, and 11-7 in the period, the Bruins still trailed on the scoreboard.
Score: 2-1 Washington
Starting the period on the power play gave the Bruins a great chance to take momentum early in the final frame. Unfortunately, they failed to convert, 0-4 on the power play for the Bruins. Despite their power play struggles, a blessing came to the Bruins in the form of a too-many-men penalty against the Capitals to be served by Ovechkin.
Fifth times the charm? Is that how the expression goes? David Krejci buried his first goal in nine games with a slapshot from the right circle through a bit of a screen. Krejci’s eighth of the season was assisted by Danton Heinen (7), and David Backes (8).
As the theme persists, Washington scores right after the Bruins tie the game as Nicklas Backstrom sent a weird one past Halak to regain the lead. 38-19 were the shots with five and a half minutes left, the Bruins literally doubled the Capitals shots and were still down a goal, thanks, Holtby.
Alexander Ovechkin made it two when he sent one at the empty net just seconds after Halak made it to the bench. His second of the game iced this one. Cassidy took a timeout with 28.7 seconds to go. The Capitals are the Bruins’ kryptonite. The final shots were 41-22 Bruins overall, and 13-10 in the period. Next up are the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto at 7 PM ET on Saturday night.
Final Score: 4-2 Washington
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