The Bruins took a 2-1 series lead with a win over the Capitals on Wednesday. The final score was 3-2 after a Boston goal in double overtime gave them the win.
The game started off as a defensive showdown in the first period. With 14 combined shots on goal for both teams and three penalties per team in the first, the defense became key for both the Bruins and Capitals.
The defense came to a screeching halt in the second period though. Three goals scored in that period showed that both offenses couldn’t be held down for long. Alex Ovechkin capped off the scoring with a power play goal almost eight and a half minutes into the period. After a Charlie McAvoy turnover behind the net led to a pass from Anthony Mantha to Ovechkin, the score became 1-0 Capitals. That goal happened to be Ovechkin’s 800th combined regular season and playoff goal in his career.
Luckily for the Bruins though, Taylor Hall answered back with a goal of his own less than a minute after Ovechkin’s. Hall lifted the puck right over Ilya Samsonov’s head when he hit the top of the net for his second goal this series.
Another goal didn’t come until less than two minutes left in the period. Nic Dowd redirected a Garnet Hathaway shot for his second score of the playoffs, putting Washington up 2-1 going into the third period.
The tying goal in the final regulation period came from Brad Marchand on the power play. Coincidentally, Dowd, who scored the go-ahead goal for the Caps in the second period, committed the penalty that allowed the B’s to tie the game.
Even though at least two penalties had been committed every period of regulation, not a single penalty occurred in the overtimes that ensued. However, a lot more shots took place, with 26 shots on goal occurring in the roughly 25 minutes of overtime play.
The fourth shot on goal in the second overtime took by Craig Smith ended the game. Smith sneakily took the puck that Samsonov played behind the net and tucked it into the goal.
“I just tried to jump on it and see if I could create a little bit of a turnover there. They gave me just enough time,” said Smith. “It just worked out. He was still out of his net trying to get back in, and I just snuck it in there.”
Smith earned the first star of the game with his game-winning goal and two points in the game. Marchand followed Smith by earning the second star and Hall got the third star.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy commented about the win after the game, mentioning Smith’s goal that won the game.
“We had a lot of good looks and then obviously got a break at the end,” said Cassidy. “It’s a second-effort league and that’s how you score. That’s the way goals go in when goalies are on. You need to get two or three whacks at it.”
Tuukka Rask played impressively but didn’t get awarded a star unfortunately. Rask saved 35-of-37 shots in almost 86 minutes played for a .946 save percentage. Rask saved seven shots in overtime as well which obviously kept his team alive and allowed them to take home the victory.
Samsonov also played well in the loss. He saved 40 shots and posted a .930 save percentage despite losing the game. Other notable performances include Patrice Bergeron who had seven shots and one assist. Dowd, who scored the only even strength goal for the Capitals on his only shot. John Carlson and Charlie McAvoy, who led all non-goalies in ice time with over 33 minutes. Lastly, David Pastrnak, who recorded a game-high nine shots on goal.