The Boston Bruins beat the Washington Capitals Thursday night, 4-3, as Charlie McAvoy’s late-game heroics gave the Bruins the win.
The first period produced a combined 15 shots on goal for both teams with a goal each per team. 4 minutes into the period, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his 13th goal of the season. Kuznetsov put the puck just inside Linus Ullmark’s glove-side post and gave the Caps a 1-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, David Pastrnak answered with a goal of his own. Pastrnak’s goal on the year came off a Taylor Hall cross-crease pass that gave Pasta his 17th goal, second on the Bruins’ leaderboard.
The second period took a little longer for goals to come along, but they eventually did. Pastrnak scored his second of the game on the man advantage. Garnet Hathaway interfered with Brad Marchand that injured the 33-year-old who left with an upper-body injury. Also leaving the game was Anton Blidh after an ugly hit from Tom Wilson.
Nevertheless, Washington’s first infraction of the game gave Pastrnak his eighth power play goal this season. Pastrnak’s eight PP goals tie him with Matt Duchene, Mikko Rantanen and Steven Stamkos for fifth in the NHL.
Despite the great performance from Pastrnak up to that point, the Capitals still didn’t let up. Lars Ellet tied up the game again with less than five minutes remaining and had the last goal of that period. The B’s and Caps exited that period tied as well at 2-2.
The third period’s first goal came on an uncertainty from the officials. It appeared as though Jake DeBrusk had scored, but there needed further review to certify it. DeBrusk shot the puck at Vitek Vanecek’s pads and Kuznetsov attempted to clear it, but not before it crossed the red line. Though it appeared to be DeBrusk’s goal, Patrice Bergeron was in the area and it had initially been credited as the captain’s goal.
The chess match continued and the Caps tied the game yet again shortly after the Bruins. Brandon Carlo turned over the puck behind the net and Tom Wilson fed Nicklas Backstrom for his first goal of the season. Backstrom’s goal came 10:17 into the period while DeBrusk’s went at 9:41 into the third.
Though it seemed that the game would be headed to overtime, the Capitals took a game-breaking penalty with less than three minutes left. With 45 seconds left in regulation, McAvoy scored a go-ahead power play goal, giving the B’s the 4-3 lead and the win.
Ullmark had been playing very well recently, but this outing looked to be a bump in the road for him. He gave up three goals on 17 shots, but still secured his 14th win this year.
On the other hand, Vanecek didn’t put up his best numbers either. He posted a .879 save percentage thanks to letting up four goals on 33 shots, but two of those did occur on the penalty kill.
The Bruins will continue their home stretch on Saturday as they take on the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets currently sit four points out of a wild card spot at 17-12-6, so they’ll be hungry for a win at TD Garden. Puck drop will take place at 3 p.m.