Caps tie series, best Bruins, 2-1

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Caps tie series, best Bruins, 2-1

WASHINGTON, DC Once again it was a one-goal nail-biter between the Bruins and the Capitals, and once again the series is even.
The Bruins dominated long portions of play in the offensive zone, but couldnt solve Braden Holtby in a 2-1 loss to the Caps in Game 4 at the Verizon Center. So the Bruins head back home to TD Garden with the series even at two and any momentum gained in Monday nights victory lost with another befuddling, frustratingly effective effort from the Caps.
Washington got the game-winning goal late in the second period on their third power play of the night when Patrice Bergeron was whistled for hooking after the stick went flying from the hands of Brooks Laich in the defensive zone. Alex Semin cashed in on the man advantage and snapped a 71-mph wrist shot from the left face-off dot that beat Tim Thomas high to the glove side.
The Capitals opened things up in the first two minutes of the game with a goal that started when Alex Ovechkin tackled Andrew Ference in the neutral zone during a loose puck situation. That play turned into a 2-on-1 for the Capitals when Zdeno Chara couldnt recover in time, and Marcus Johansson slammed home the Laich feed.
The Bruins tied it up midway through the first period when an ill-timed Dennis Wideman pinch turned into a Rich Peverley 3-on-1 breakaway at the other end of the ice. Peverley faked shot before snaking a wrist shot through the five-hole of Braden Holtby to tie things up.
But the Capitals enjoyed three power plays in the victory while the Bruins only got a single chance on the man advantage, and the one power play goal ended up serving as the difference.

Report: Marchand agrees to eight-year extension with Bruins

Report: Marchand agrees to eight-year extension with Bruins

The Bruins took care of their biggest priority today as they reached agreement with Brad Marchand on an eight-year contract extension, according to several reports.

PROFILE: Joe Haggerty's preseason look at Brad Marchand

Elliotte Friedman reports Marchand has agreed to an eight year, $49 million extension ($6.125 million per season) that will effectively allow him to finish his career in Boston.

It was felt the Bruins would have been playing with fire if they allowed Marchand -- a 37-goal scorer last year -- to start the season unsigned, especially after he ripped up the World Cup of Hockey competition on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Sidney Crosby. Bruins president Cam Neely told CSN a couple of weeks ago that Boston was aiming to get the deal done with Marchand prior to the start of the regular season. In fact, they managed to get it done before the start of even the preseason.

Marchand has consistently said that he wants to finish out his career with the Bruins, who drafted and developed him and with whom he turned into an elite player in the last couple of years. He’s clearly taking a hometown discount to stick with Boston.

This is what Marchand said to CSN on breakup day last April:

“I obviously love being a part of this organization, this city and this team, and I don’t think this team is done having some good runs. I would love to be a part of this organization for the rest of my career, but the reality is when you look around the league that it doesn’t happen for many guys. We’ll deal with it when the time comes.”

Well, the time came and Marchand put his money where his sometimes big mouth usually is. The Bruins agitator easily could have demanded a yearly salary of $7 million-plus in free agency.

Credit to Don Sweeney and Neely for closing the deal with Marchand, and ticking one very important thing off their checklist that will help make the Bruins great again.