WASHINGTON, DC – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Washington Capitals locked in a scoreless tie at the end of the first 20 minutes at the Verizon Center.
1) Braden Holtby continues to shine against the Bruins, and provide the kind of nightmare material for Bruins fans headed into a potential first round matchup against the Capitals. He made 15 saves in a busy first period, and appeared to be tracking the Bruins shots quite well in the crease.
2) Chris Brown and Chris Kelly shoving each other and throwing some angry cross-checks at the end of the first period. Is every person in this world named Chris Brown a punk, or what?
3) No shots on goal for Reilly Smith in the first period, and he was pulled off the second power play unit for the Bruins in their only man advantage possession of the period. Bruins need to some more aggressiveness and assertiveness out of Smith as he struggles to finish off the end of his first full NHL season amid a slump of one goal in his last 21 games.
4) The Capitals working to get on that top tanked power play whenever they can. Patrice Bergeron clearly tripped Alex Ovechkin in the neutral zone, but the Russian superstar took a Bobby Orr-style flying leap to make sure the refs didn’t miss the call.
5) The Capitals really can’t do much offensively or defensively five-on-five against the Bruins. Their only hope in this one is cranking in a power play goal or two, and hoping that Holtby stands on his head.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Washington Capitals by a 3-1 score at the end of the first 40 minutes at the Verizon Center.
1) Bruins show the dazzling goal-scoring ability of their team with three goals in less than a six minute span against a Washington defense that just doesn’t seem able to handle the Boston attack. As good as Braden Holtby is against the Bruins, this Capitals team has no shot if they face the Black and Gold in the first round of the postseason.
2) Another giant game for Carl Soderberg, who assisted on Jarome Iginla’s first goal of the game on a nifty backhanded saucer pass after escaping the penalty box and then scored one of his own on a redirection of a Patrice Bergeron shot in front of the net. Soderberg has two points, a plus-1 rating, four generated shot attempts and five-of-seven face off wins through two periods.
3) Two goals again for Jarome Iginla, who has reached 30 goals for the 12th time in his career and is only the second B’s player to do it (Milan Lucic in 2010-11) since Phil Kessel left town five years ago. Iginla also tied Guy Lafleur for 24th all-time on the NHL leader board with the 560th goal of his career. He has been the best free agent signing for any team this season. No contest.
4) Weak goal by Chad Johnson at the end of the period as Johnny Boychuk tipped a puck to the B’s goaltender to freeze it off a Washington rush, and instead Jason Chimera hustled to the net to pop in the loose puck in the crease. The goal arrived with 10 seconds left in the period, and keeps Washington in the game for the final 20 minutes.
5) No urgency from the Capitals. Mike Green loafing on shifts up and down the ice, and Alex Ovechkin settling for perimeter shots during five-on-five play. It’s like they’re just magically waiting for power plays to score goals.