BALTIMORE -- It was a pretty drastic comedown for the Bruins going from playing the Habs at the Bell Centre on Monday night, and then 24 hours later playing the Capitals at the decrepit Baltimore Arena.
But the Bruins survived the collapsing panes of glass above the boards and the falling stanchions, and skated to a 3-2 shootout win over the Capitals.
Troy Brouwer and Alex Ovechkin scored for the Capitals in the shootout, and both Alex Khokhlachev and David Warsofsky matched them for the Bruins before the game-winner from Carter Camper.
Tom Wilson and former UMass hockey player Casey Wellman scored the goals for the Capitals -- one each scored on goalies Tuukka Rask and Niklas Svedberg.
The Bruins fought back with a goal at the end of the second period scored by Justin Florek during a massive scrum around the net. P-Bruins enforcer Bobby Robins picked up the assist, and was only a goal away from the Gordie Howe hat trick after a brawl with Dane Byers in the first period.
Svedberg made a nice butterfly stop on a Nathan Walker penalty shot midway through the third to keep it a one goal game. That set up Chris Kelly's game-tying power play score on an absolute rocket from the right faceoff circle.
Tuesday night's game certainly wasn't as cleanly played or energetic as Monday night's preseason opener, but the Bruins will happily pick up and head back to Boston for more training camp practices on Wednesday.
GOLD STAR: While the save totals weren’t official on a night when both teams were just lucky that the entire Baltimore Arena building didn’t collapse, Niklas Svedberg made a nice showing in his Boston Bruins debut. He did allow a goal, but he stoned Nathan Walker on a penalty shot in the third period to preserve overtime before shutting down Alex Ovechkin on a rush down the left wing in the extra session. Svedberg then turned away Niklas Backstrom, Mike Green and Marcus Johansson in the shootout before Carter Camper finally won it. The impressive debut for Svedberg was the opposite of the rough beginning for Chad Johnson Monday night in Montreal.
BLACK EYE: The real black eye on Tuesday night was the Baltimore Arena, which badly stretched the boundaries of a venue that NHL teams should be forced to play a preseason game. Stanchions fell from between the panes of glass, and Chris Casto nearly hurt himself stumbling over a fallen piece of plexiglass after the B’s defenseman and Alex Ovechkin made contact in the corner. That doesn’t even take into account the poor ice conditions and the crab that was tossed on the ice when Casey Wellman potted a goal in the second period. Apparently the arena was just as disastrous the last time the Capitals hosted the Nashville Predators in Baltimore, but they continue to schedule preseason games at the ramshackle building.
TURNING POINT: The referees called a penalty shot after Nathan Walker was hauled down crashing the net with a breakaway shot, and it appeared a big moment in a one goal game during the third period. Niklas Svedberg dropped into full butterfly to turn away Walker while keeping it a 2-1 hockey game, and that allowed Chris Kelly to post the tying goal and push things into the extra session.
HONORABLE MENTION: Bobby Robins livened things up eight minutes into the first period - and his playing career with the B's - when he dropped the gloves with Dane Byers. The enforcer probably lost the decision to Byers in the fight, but teamed with Jack Downing and Justin Florek for an efficiently effective forward line. Robins picked up an assist on Florek’s second period goal that served as Boston’s only offense for a long period of time. All he needed was a goal to secure a Gordie Howe hat trick on Tuesday night, but it wasn’t meant to be this time around.
BY THE NUMBERS: 8 – the number of shooters for the Boston and Washington side during a prolonged shootout session to break up a 2-2 through 65 minutes of hockey.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I think if anybody could come back at that age it would be Tim [Thomas]. He's very focused and motivated. It's going to be hard.” –Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli speaking about the news that Tim Thomas reported to training camp with the Florida Panthers.