Caps end Bruins' season with 2-1 overtime win

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Caps end Bruins' season with 2-1 overtime win

BOSTON -- Joel Ward played the role of villain in Boston on Wednesday night.
The Capitals winger knocked home a rebound just three minutes into overtime of Game 7, giving Washington a 2-1 win, ending the Bruins season in the first round of the playoffs, a year after winning the Stanley Cup.
The game-winner came as a result of a Bruins turnover on an attempted dump-and-change from the neutral zone. But Benoit Pouliot's slap shot was blocked by Mike Knuble, who then skated it into the B's zone on an odd-man rush.
Tim Thomas made the initial save on Knuble as he took it hard to the net, but Ward came over and quickly put home the rebound, ending Boston's season.
BruinsTalk: See what the Twitter-verse is saying about the B's loss
Tyler Seguin's goal in the second period was the reason the game went to overtime in the first place. Seguin put his body on the line to tie the game at 1-1 with 5:33 left in the second period, as he dove into the crease for a loose puck that somehow snuck under the arm of Braden Holtby after Johnny Boychuk blasted a slap shot from the top of the right circle.
The puck sat in the crease and Seguin wanted it more than anybody else apparently, as he dove in and poked it into the open net.
The Capitals went into the second period with a 1-0 lead, thanks to Matt Hendricks' re-direction of a John Carlson shot from the right point that beat Thomas low to his blocker side with 8:37 left in the first period.
Washington scored first, and then scored last, sending the Bruins home much earlier than expected.

GOLD STAR: Tyler Seguin had seven shots on net, scored Bostons only goal and put together his best full effort of this years playoffs just as things were ending for the Bruins. That gave Seguin three points and two goals in his last two games, and puts a better punctuation mark at the end of this seasons sentence than where things were headed when the 20-year-old had been scoreless through the first five games of the postseason. The best part: Seguin showed the kind of grit and grime that is needed to taste success in the playoffs when he fought through both Karl Alzner and John Carlson to poke home the rebound of a Johnny Boychuk blast.BLACK EYE: Milan Lucic didnt get a single shot on net and didnt score one goal in the seven game series against the Washington Capitals. The Bs power forward is a big game player and leads the Bruins with three goals scored in Game 7s throughout his career, but he just didnt have that extra gear once the playoffs got moving. Lucic did have five hits and helped create the offensive sequence that led to Tyler Seguins goal in front of the net, but the offense is a component that the Bruins have come to expect out of Lucics game. It wasnt there in Wednesdays Game 7 and it hadnt been there for the entire playoff series with Bostons resident power forward.TURNING POINT: The Bruins could have won it earlier in overtime when Patrice Bergeron had a perfect scoring chance by the doorstep 45 seconds into OT off the rebound of a Dennis Seidenberg shot, but the Bs center just couldnt get a handle on the puck. Instead he fired it wide of the net with a wobbly attempt while trying to settle a puck that was bouncing. But it was pretty clear the injury affecting Bergeron played into his inability to get the meaty part of his stick on the puck and control a shot attempt at a net that was momentarily open. It was just another example of the Bruins being unable, unwilling or unavailable to park home a puck that was hanging around the net. Minutes later Joel Ward had the game-winner for the Capitals.HONORABLE MENTION: Dennis Seidenberg played upwards of 25 minutes had three shots on net, three hits and five blocked shots and helped extend the game to overtime when he jumped in front of a screaming Alex Ovechkin blast during Washingtons third period power play leading up to the end of regulation. The German defenseman also completely knocked Ovechkin off his pins with a stiff hit in overtime, but that one came just mere minutes before Joel Wards game-winner in the extra session.BY THE NUMBERS: 7 the number of Stanley Cup champs in the last nine seasons that have failed to get out of the first round of the playoffs the following season. The Bruins became the seventh on Wednesday night in Game 7.QUOTE TO NOTE: We had a lot of chances, its just I dont really know what to say. Its just disappointing to be done in April when youre used to going into May and June. Its just disappointing. Thats all. Johnny Boychuk on the shocking realization that the Bruins season is over after a first round exit at the hands of the Washington Capitals in seven games.
Danny Picard contributed to this story

Cassidy: 'Trying to set a standard' of being one of the NHL's better teams

Cassidy: 'Trying to set a standard' of being one of the NHL's better teams

BOSTON – The Bruins have won seven of eight games under interim coach Bruce Cassidy and are fortifying their position as the third playoff team in the Atlantic Division with each passing victory.

The 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden on Tuesday night probably shouldn’t be all impressive based on the Yotes standing as the second-worst team in the NHL, but it was a classic trap game coming off a long West Coast road trip. Instead of falling for the trap the Bruins exploded for three goals in the second period, energized by a shorthanded Riley Nash strike, and continue to extend the winning stretch they need in order to punch their playoff ticket.

The postseason clincher is still a long way away from reality, but Cassidy said the B’s are starting to achieve the elevated level of play they’re aiming for while finally getting the full potential out of their team.

“I just want the guys to make sure that they play confident, solid hockey and believe in themselves. And play to a [higher] standard,” said Cassidy. “We’re trying to set a standard where we’re one of the better teams in the National Hockey League. They’ve been there before, the leadership group here. That’s where we’re striving to get through in the end.”

They haven’t exactly shied away from the competition either, twice beating the first-place San Jose Sharks and shutting out the first place Montreal Canadiens in the final straw that saw Michel Therrien axed in favor of Claude Julien.

The B’s have now opened up a three-point cushion over the Maple Leafs for their playoff spot and they’ve averaged 4.13 goals per game (33 goals in eight games) while allowing just 2.13 goals per game (17 goals in eight games) in the eight games going from Julien to Cassidy. 

The challenge now is to maintain that level of play over the final 19 games of the regular season to drive home their playoff bid and finish strong at a point where in each of the past two seasons they’ve utterly imploded.


 

Wednesday, March 1: Bruins okay with not dealing

Wednesday, March 1: Bruins okay with not dealing

Here are all the links from around the hockey world as NHL trade deadline day is upon us with no promise of fireworks in Boston.

*As referenced above, there’s a good chance the Bruins won’t be doing much today and they’re perfectly okay with that.

*Craig Custance grades every move made ahead of the trade deadline with plenty of action out of the way early.

*The Vancouver Canucks will not be trading Ryan Miller, which is smart given the normal market for No. 1 goaltenders.

*The New York Rangers lost out on the Kevin Shattenkirk rental sweepstakes at the deadline, so they’ve opted for Brendan Smith instead.

*The Florida Panthers may make a move at the deadline (which they did in acquiring Thomas Vanek) but they will not make or break their team with deadline deals.

*Doug Armstrong says that Shattenkirk was frustrated by his role with the St. Louis Blues, and that played into his trade to the Capitals.

*For something completely different: It’s a national holiday in Canada as Jay and Dan will be returning to their natural habitat.