Bruins 'too cocky' in loss to Capitals

Bruins 'too cocky' in loss to Capitals
March 6, 2013, 2:00 am
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WASHINGTON DC – The Boston Bruins worked up to a 3-0 lead in the first period against the Washington Capitals, and appeared to be well on their way to erasing the bitter taste of Sunday’s loss to the hated Habs.

But the Bruins quite simply stopped working, started watching and blew a three-goal lead while falling to a Washington Capitals club that scored four unanswered goals over the final 40:37 of action en route to a 4-3 overtime loss at the Verizon Center. It was a room full of disappointment following Tuesday night’s game: the Bruins were lamenting missed scoring opportunities that could have blown the game wide open and wincing at some uncharacteristic defensive breakdowns that still plague the team. It was the first time since April 4, 2011 on the road against the Rangers that the B’s have wasted away a three-goal lead.

That particular defeat led to a team meeting at Madison Square Garden after the loss, and was one of the turning points in a season that ultimately saw the Black and Gold win the Stanley Cup.

The Bruins also lost a chance to take over the Northeast Division and the Eastern Conference if they could have picked up two points in a win, so it should just be filed under the general headline of wasted opportunity.

“We’ve got to fix some things. We were definitely out of position a little bit and we didn’t push back hard enough at times,” admitted Brad Marchand, who sparked the early first period run by connecting on a penalty shot for his team-leading 12th goal of the season. “Whether we’re up one goal or three goals, we can’t let teams come back like that.

“We were a little cocky there. We sat back. We were planning to come out and play exactly the way we did in the first, but they just kind of passed the puck through us. We were just sitting there and they were going right through us. It was frustrating.”

The Bruins did a good job of putting Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid together as a towering shutdown duo that managed to clear things away from the front of the net when they were both on the ice together. But the Eric Fehr, Nick Backstrom and Wojtek Wolski line victimized the Johnny Boychuk/Andrew Ference pairing for the Caps’ second goal, and then put on the game-tying and game-winning scores against the defensive duo of Dennis Seidenberg and Dougie Hamilton.

On the game-winning play Fehr simply bulled through both Seidenberg and Hamilton while down straight down the slot, and flipped the puck past Tuukka Rask for a frustrating end to a painful performance.

“This is another game we can learn from, I guess,” said Hamilton. “We thought it was going to be easy and we got a little cocky. We lost the momentum and it’s tough to get it back after that.

“The first goal [against Hamilton/Seidenberg] was a little bit of a bad bounce. I don’t know what I could have done differently on that. On the last one [Fehr] kind of split in between us. Maybe I could have hit him? I’m not sure.”

It’s highly likely that Bruins coach Claude Julien will mention something about “hitting him” when the 19-year-old watches the video of the overtime game-winner that’s sent Boston to the loser’s circle two games in a row.