Bruins look to avenge last year's playoff loss

Bruins look to avenge last year's playoff loss
March 5, 2013, 2:15 pm
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WASHINGTON, DC – In one sense, the Bruins are returning to the scene of the crime on Tuesday night. They’ll be facing the Washington Capitals team that ended their season in the first round of the playoffs last spring, and that means there will be something a little extra there.

But, that was 11 months ago and so much has happened since then: Tim Thomas went AWOL after a second-half collapse; the NHL lockout wiped out the first three plus months of the season; and the Bruins have put themselves in good position as they approach the halfway point of the year.

“It’s been a long time. It feels like a long time ago, believe it or not,” said Claude Julien referring to last year’s playoffs. “But nonetheless, there’s something there for both teams. It’s how we ended last year, because of them, and certainly we’d like to have a better outing [because of that].”

Walking into the Verizon Center didn’t really bring back any specific bad memories for the Bruins. The B’s took two of three games in the nation’s capital during the playoffs, including a dramatic Tyler Seguin goal in overtime of Game 6 that pushed them to a Game 7 defeat on home ice at the TD Garden.

But it brought back the memory of a bitter playoff defeat that finally snuffed out Boston’s season following their Cup run.

“Every building you walk into you kind of think about the last time that you were there,” said David Krejci, who finished with only a goal and three points in the seven game series loss to the Caps last season. “The last time we played here we won. But still this team sent us home for the summer. That’s what came to me when I first got here [this morning].”

It certainly won’t be as bitter as, say, a Sunday night game against the Montreal Canadiens with first place on the line. But, Adam McQuaid probably feels like he owes Jason Chimera a little something after the gritty Washington forward ended his season last spring after he charged straight into McQuaid after making a beeline toward him after hopping over the boards.

Karl Alzner gave Milan Lucic a “crybaby” motion as the Bruins power forward engaged in a heated discussion with the referees during their playoff series, and that certainly wasn’t appreciated by Boston’s left wing.

But, the Capitals have also struggled out of the gate this season. Only the Florida Panthers sit underneath them in the Eastern Conference standings. Yet, they’ve also climbed to 5-5-0 on home ice while appearing to have finally found their footing under new coach Adam Oates.