The Boston Bruins did not play well enough in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With that being said, there was certainly a bit of luck involved for the Capitals in their win.
All three Washington goals came via a deflection or odd bounce. To be fair to the Capitals, they were able to get bodies in front of the net and got the results they were looking for by doing so. It turned out to be a very frustrating Game 1 loss for the Bruins.
There was a quick scare for the Bruins during the second period when Patrice Bergeron reportedly exited the game for a reason unknown. However, he would return to the game shortly after.
The Bruins did have the edge on faceoffs won, winning 60 percent of them. However, the Bruins did a poor job testing Vitek Vanecek early and then Craig Anderson for the rest of the game. Despite 58 total shot attempts, just 26 were on target and Boston never really forced Vanecek or Anderson to make an impressive save. It was still a solid showing from Anderson, considering he came in for the injured Vanecek in the first period and had 22 saves on 23 shots faced.
There were some bright spots for Boston as Jake DeBrusk had a great game. After a rather disappointing regular season for DeBrusk featuring a lot of inconsistency in his game, DeBrusk came to play in the opening game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As well as his goal, he was present in all areas of the ice, making a crucial defensive play by tracking back into the defensive zone and doing just enough to affect John Carlson’s shot attempt on an odd man rush for Washington.
Taylor Hall also played well, doing the dirty work by drawing two Capitals penalties and getting involved in the physical play in the corners.
The Bruins did well staying out of the box and only committed one penalty throughout the entire game. It will be very important for Boston to limit Washington’s power play opportunities as this series continues.
It was no surprise to see that physicality was a key part of Game 1 as Washington delivered five hits out of the gate in the first few minutes. Washington ended up outhitting Boston 51-41.
Outside of the first line, the Bruins did see some offensive production but they will need to see more contribution from the likes of Pastrnak, Bergeron and Marchand going forward in this series. It was a game in which the Bruins failed to generate enough quality chances in the offensive zone. That is something Boston will need to improve upon in Game 2 if they want to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole.
Based on the way Game 1 played out, it would come as no surprise if this turned out to be a grueling series that goes the distance. On the other hand, Boston simply have to win on Monday to knot the series up or else they could be in real trouble.