After a two day break following the 4-1 win over the Rangers, the Bruins traveled back home for a three game home stand. On Wednesday night, game one of the home stand, the Bruins took on the Capitals in game one of the series in what turned out to be a heated matchup.
Through the first period, the Bruins found less than five total shots on goal, and the Caps struggled almost just as much to generate attacking energy. Some of the only action found in the first frame came in the form of penalties. David Krejci picked up a trip on Ovechkin late in the first, while Ovechkin received one of his own minutes later. Ovi’s interference on McAvoy pushed the game to a 4v4, which turned out to have no impact in the game. The first ended with a penalty to Washington’s Richard Panik. As well as a 0-0 stalemate scoreline.
The second period saw virtually much of the same. The Bruins and Capitals went back and forth, each team unable to find the back of the net. A limited number of shots, and a whole lot of hits was ultimately the story of the game. The Caps and B’s both had runs of momentum in the middle period, but absolutely nothing was able to be created as a result. Without even a single penalty through the second, the intermission loomed with the score still tied at 0.
It took only one minute in the third period for the scoring to open. Brad Marchand worked very hard on the defensive end, and was able to find goalscorer David Pastrnak wide open cross-crease to tap it in. Marchand’s long skate forward lost the defensemen, leaving Pasta with one of his easier chances to finish off. But, the first goal would not last as the lone goal for long. Lars Eller picked up his fifth goal on the season just five minutes later. Jensen teed up a slapshot from the point that ended up spilling out a juicy rebound straight in the path of Eller. Lars was able to tap it past Tuukka Rask for the Caps equalizer. A dogfight finish to the third pushed this one into overtime.
Just over three minutes into overtime, Tuukka Rask made a couple of game saving stops to keep the game level. Shots by Orlov, Backstrom, and Kuznetsov were all stopped with incredible skill and concentration from Rask. The lone chance for the Bruins in the overtime period came from Jake DeBrusk, who was pokechecked by Vanecek while trying to end the game. Otherwise, the overtime stayed true to the theme of the game, a stalemate. Ovechkin was stoned late by Rask again, sending it to the final form of tiebreaker, the shootout.
The Bruins started off the shootout first, with Jake DeBrusk. DeBrusk skated in and was unable to pick out the top right corner of Vanecek’s net. The following shot by Jakub Vrana was a wonderful finish, dekeing coast to coast and shaking Rask. Giving the Capitals the advantage. Pastrnak’s quick attempt at changing directions turned out to be a failiure as Vanecek flashed his pad. T.J. Oshie’s miss allowed Brad Marchand one last opportunity as salvaging both points for the Bruins. Marchand skated in quickly on Vanecek, but no hole ever opened, meaning that the Capitals had taken the 2-1 victory via the shootout.
The Bruins recent skid of bad form still finds them at a record of 12-5-3. Only good enough for third in the East Division. The win for the Capitals finds them on top with 30 points, while the Islanders now hold second with 28. It is worth noting that Boston has played two less games than both division opponents that find themselves ahead, sitting at 27 points. The Bruins will host the second half of the series with Washington on Friday night at the TD Garden.