The Bruins won their first round series against the Washington Capitals on Sunday thanks to their top line and netminder. The final score was 3-1 and capped off a series where Boston won four straight games.
Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak, two players very familiar with scoring this season, netted the goals for Boston.
Pastrnak’s between-the-legs deke which fooled two defenders set up the scoring for Boston early in the second period. Pastrnak, a point per game player this series, commented on the experience. “These games are fun,” said Pastrnak. “The feeling you get with the guys after the game in the locker room and the happiness like little kids, it’s something that you play the game for.”
Though Pastrnak had a nifty move to end the double goose egg score, the captain had the game-winning goal. Bergeron’s two timely goals gave Boston the edge in the game and the series. His first came via a Mike Reilly pass that caught both the defense and goalie off guard.
Bergeron’s snap shot goal went past 24-year-old Ilya Samsonov’s blocker and into the net. The L’Ancienne-Lorette native scored his second at an important time; less than eight minutes remaining in the third period. Bergeron stole the puck from TJ Oshie and shot it in the top of the net.
That goal turned out to be Bergeron’s 11th in potential series-clinching games, tied for third among active players. “That’s why you play the game,” said Bergeron, chuckling. “It’s the adrenaline and the feeling that you get. It’s always special. This time of the year, it’s always fun to be a part of it. You try and stay in the moment. I think we stayed in the moment tonight and got it done.”
Though the Bruins scored three goals, they put up an uncharacteristically low 19 shots on goal. With that in mind, the MVP of this game may as well have been Tuukka Rask. Rask saved 40 shots in the win and hadn’t finished a game in the series with a sub-.900 save percentage. There couldn’t have been a much better time to put up a .976 save percentage than an elimination game and he did just that. Rask talked about his stellar performance after the game as well.
“I felt good the whole series,” said Rask, the first star of the game. “This game today was probably the most chances and shots they had the whole series. That’s one of the reasons that it looked like I was in the zone.” The Bruins will play either the Penguins or Islanders in the second round. However, the players have a few extra days to rest since the series is still tied 2-2.