Bruins top Capitals in comeback fashion, 4-3

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Bruins top Capitals in comeback fashion, 4-3

WASHINGTON, DC The Bruins had to bring their hard hats with them to the nations capital if they were hoping for a good result.

Thats exactly what they got as they battled their way from behind, saw the third and fourth lines step up in a big way, and provide the final blow courtesy of their captain in a 4-3 victory at the Verizon Center in Game 3.

The victory gives the Bruins a 2-1 edge in the series and gives them back home ice advantage after suffering a home loss to the Caps last weekend.

Down 2-1 after Rich Peverley and Alex Ovechkin traded goals to start the second period, Daniel Paille and Brian Rolston stood tall in front of the net to collect rebounds for the tying and go-ahead goals in the final two periods.

That go-ahead goal was the first lead the Bruins have had all series, but it wouldn't last too long. With six minutes to go in the game, the Capitals' Brooks Laich got behind an entire unsuspecting Bruins line along the boards and deked Thomas, tying things up at four.

With that, it looked as if Game 3 would also go into overtime, but Zdeno Chara had other ideas. Skating 4-on-4 with under two minutes remaining, Chara blasted a shot from the right point that found its way into the back of the net.

That was your game, as the B's held off a last-minute Capitals push.

The Bruins tied things up at two when Paille backhanded the rebound of a Greg Zanon shot past a diving Braden Holtby. Rolston fired away from the slot after Caps rookie netminder Braden Holtby couldnt control a Chris Kelly shot. Combine that with Holbys shaky glove hand on Peverleys score to open the second period, and perhaps the fairy tale story is ending for the 22-year-old rookie puck-stopper.

The goal by Rolston arrived after Tim Thomas saved Bostons bacon with a point blank stop on Jay Beagle in the middle of the second period a point when another Washington goal could have been a killer.

Otherwise it was another tight game between the Bruins and Capitals with both teams playing it relatively close to the vest, and Thomas finishing four saves (29 to 25) better than his young counterpart out on the frozen sheet.

Perhaps the biggest difference for both teams: big name Washington players like Ovechkin and Alex Semin have arrived in the series for the Capitals, and many of the Bruins best forwards are still missing in action.

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

As expected, Marcus Smart will get the start for the Boston Celtics tonight against the Orlando Magic in place of the injured Isaiah Thomas. 

Thomas, who leads the Celtics (12-9) in scoring (26.0) and assists (6.2) this season, suffered a right groin injury in Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston on Monday.

Head coach Brad Stevens explained his decision a few minutes ago.

“He’s started a lot of games here in the past as a point guard,” Stevens told reporters. “He’s basically our sixth starter. It wasn’t one that I had to think a ton about.”

Starting Smart also allows second-year guard Terry Rozier to continue in his role coming off the bench. 

Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, Smart’s production has been consistent. 

In the five games he has started this season, he has averaged 10.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. 

His numbers off the bench are almost identical with Smart averaging 9.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists as a reserve. 

Stevens also mentioned that Amir Johnson would be back in the starting lineup in place of Jonas Jerebko. Earlier in the day, Stevens told reporters the decision to start Jerebko on Monday was strictly because of the matchup with Houston. 

“We have to be able to be flexible in doing that,” Stevens said. “Houston plays four guards. We didn’t feel like we could defend them unless we switch one through four. I thought he (Jerebko) did a pretty good job. This (Orlando) team is different than Houston other than both are super-hot.”

Orlando (10-12) has won four of its last five games in part because of its size, strength and versatility along the frontline which includes Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo and Nikola Vucevic who now comes off the bench. 

And while the Celtics have benefited heavily from the play of their guards, obviously that plan will be amended tonight with Thomas out. 

“He (Thomas) generates a lot in the open offense what we call flow, spread offense,” Stevens said. “So some of those type of things you may not generate at the same rate. But certainly there are other ways that we’ll look to play when he’s not in the game normally, or when we’re trying to play through bigs in the post. You have different ways to play within all your schemes. Hopefully we can play to each other’s strengths and go from there.”