Bruins lose heartbreaker to Caps


Bruins lose heartbreaker to Caps

BOSTON -- The Bruins battled back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits on Saturday afternoon, but Capitals forward Troy Brouwer took advantage of a questionable penalty call on Benoit Pouliot in the final minutes of the third period, as he snapped a power-play shot over Tim Thomas' glove with 1:27 left in the game, leading to a 4-3 Washington win in Game 5 at the TD Garden.

The Capitals have a 3-2 series lead and a chance to close it out on Sunday back in D.C.

Mike Knuble gave the Capitals a 3-2 lead, just over three minutes into the third period, when skated hard to the net from the left wing and put home a rebound from a low Joel Ward shot that was taken at the right half-wall, with the purpose of a rebound being kicked out to Knuble. It was, and the Caps took a one-goal lead.

Not even six minutes later, Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk blasted a shot from the left point while on the power play that just got over Braden Holtby's glove to tie the game at 3-3.

Dennis Seidenberg had originally woke the Bruins up with 2:39 left in the second period, after he sniped the top-right corner with a shot from the right circle while jumping into the rush. The goal cut Washington's lead to 2-1, and gave Boston plenty of life.

So much life that Brad Marchand tied the game at 2-2 just 28 seconds after Seidenberg's goal. Marchand put himself in the dirty area and tapped home a Johnny Boychuk rebound through Holtby's five hole.

Before that, it looked as if the Capitals had completely rattled the Bruins' confidence, scoring two second-period goals on an Alex Semin rebound out front with 8:44 left in the period, and a Jay Beagle shot from the top of the left circle that hit Thomas' glove and trickled in with 5:33 remaining.

The B's battled back to tie it twice, but Brouwer's power-play goal was too much for Boston to overcome.

First half Patriots observations: Brady and Long up, Garoppolo and Solder down


First half Patriots observations: Brady and Long up, Garoppolo and Solder down

The Patriots had their share of good and bad in the first half of their preseason game with the Panthers on Friday. Here's who we saw as some of the team's top performers, as well as some of the players who may have to make some corrections in the second half. 

* Tom Brady was only 3-for-9 in his four series, but he completed his passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. His touchdown pass to Chris Hogan might have been the best throw of the preseason for any Patriots quarterback as he hit Hogan in stride, over the shoulder, for a 33-yard gain. Brady was close to having a second touchdown pass, but it glanced off the out-stretched hands tight end Martellus Bennett in the back of the end zone. Brady was nearly picked on his final drive, again trying to hit Bennett. He was sacked on his final play of the half.

* Jimmy Garoppolo had a difficult time early in this one. He was 5-for-9 for 37 yards, and he picked up an intentional grounding penalty. Garoppolo also was strip-sacked by Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, but James White recovered. 

* Chris Long had a standout half with two pressures, a pass-breakup that led to a Devin McCourty pick, and he drew a hold. The veteran defensive end has shown a good motor and a knack for getting to the quarterback in each of New England's first three preseason games. 

* Logan Ryan also had a strong first half in his preseason debut. His first five targets in coverage resulted in no completions, an offensive pass interference penalty and an interception. His former college teammate Duron Harmon also had a pick of Panthers backup Derek Anderson.

* Nate Solder allowed the pressure that eventually led to the sack of Brady by Kony Ealy. He also was flagged for a false start. Being that it's the third preseason game -- when starters typically go deep into the game -- he'll likely have a chance to redeem himself in the second half.