WASHINGTON DC – Here’s five thoughts from the first period with the Boston Bruins leading the Washington Capitals by a 3-0 score after the first 20 minutes of action at the Verizon Center.
1) Two days after the Bruins complained about embellishing and penalties, lo and behold the Bruins get some calls. One was deserved and the other one absolutely wasn’t, but they both led to B’s goals. Brad Marchand took advantage of John Carlson falling down while the B’s were shorthanded, and he took it to the net while getting slashed at by Alex Ovechkin from behind. The Bruins called a legit penalty shot for the breakaway infraction, and Marchand finished by sliding the puck between Braden Holtby’s pads for his 12th goal.
2) The second call was a bad one on Alex Ovechkin for basically throwing a hard body check at Chris Kelly. Fifteen seconds into that power play Dougie Hamilton had his third goal of the season from the high point and the Bruins had their third three-goal lead in 20 games this season.
3) Two assists in 4:34 of ice time in the first period for David Krejci, who also absorbed a Zdeno Chara shot in the family jewels while battling in front of the net before Chara tapped it in for a score. Give it to Krejci: he is paying the price this season and gaining much better consistency.
4) First fight since coming from the concussion for Shawn Thornton, who absorbed and tossed a few punches before dropping tough customer John Erskine with a strong overhand right. It had been nine games since Thornton fought and he looked pretty good doing it.
5) Claude Julien has switched up the defenseman pairings to get a little better coverage in front of the net: Adam McQuaid is skating with Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk has been dropped to the third defensemen pairing with Andrew Ference.
Here’s five thoughts from the second period with the Boston Bruins leading the Washington Capitals by a 3-2 score after the first 40 minutes of action at the Verizon Center.
1) A flat second period for the Bruins as they eased up considerably with a three-goal lead, and allowed the Capitals to chip away while showing an impressive level of attitude and nastiness. Mike Ribeiro dumps a snow shower with his skates all over Tuukka Rask on a whistle near the end of the second period and draws a roughing penalty when Brad Marchand reacts to him, and Alex Ovechkin speared Marchand earlier in the period in a sequence the refs clearly missed. That sent Marchand to the Bruins dressing room for a brief few moments after he was doubled over in pain on the bench. Marchand returned later in the period and appeared to be okay.
2) Another tough game for the Bruins third line. They couldn’t finish off some chances in the offensive end, and that turned into a fire drill in the defensive end when Alex Ovechkin and Ribeiro pinned them in. Then Chris Kelly lost a defensive zone face-off that led to Washington’s second goal of the period for rookie Tomas Kundratek. Kelly and Johnny Boychuk are a team-worst minus-2 on the evening.
3) Bruins have won only 20 of 42 face-offs and Patrice Bergeron is having an uncharacteristically tough night as well. Jay Beagle having a good night in the circle for the Capitals after he was an effective irritant for Washington in the playoffs last season.
4) Bruins continue playing Zdeno Chara with Adam McQuaid quite a bit in the pairings while Johnny Boychuk is with Andrew Ference. Some of that is about making sure Chara is on the ice against Ovechkin, but that’s not all of the reasoning behind it. Claude Julien trying to find an effective shutdown partner for the B’s captain as Boychuk has struggled a bit at times this season in his own end with big Zee.
5) Capitals have had three power plays tonight and the Bruins have had a grand total of one that they scored on. Some things don’t change, do they?
Here’s five thoughts from the third period with the Boston Bruins knotted up with the Washington Capitals at a 3-3 score and headed to overtime after 60 minutes of action at the Verizon Center.
1) Bad bounce for the game-tying goal as a puck bounced off Dougie Hamilton’s leg and right to Wojtek Wolski in front of the net. But it was the Bruins third line that couldn’t win possession and allowed Washington to enter the zone with speed.
2) A team-worst minus-3 for Chris Kelly and minus-2 ratings for Rich Peverley and Chris Bourque tonight. The Bruins third line has been a drag on the rest of the team all season and they were just not good again tonight. Not enough presence in the offensive zone and too many goals allowed when they’re on the ice.
3) Bruins had a power play in the final minutes of the third period and only got one shot on net while showing little energy or snap. Just a whole lot of lollygagging by both units. The Bruins are either tired or holding no interest in winning the game in regulation.
4) Pretty good game for Alex Ovechkin tonight. Plenty of shots, blocked shots, hits and an assist on Mike Ribeiro’s goal while drawing penalties as well. Probably the best regular season game he’s played against Boston in a good three years.
5) Give the Capitals credit for battling into overtime. Still plenty of time to get into the thick of things in a very mediocre Southeast Division.