BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Washington Capitals 2-0 score after the first 40 minutes at TD Garden:
1) Night and day performance defensively for the Bruins on Thursday night vs. the Capitals as opposed to the loss on Saturday to Washington. Layers upon layers of defenders to take away time and space from the Capitals and no real push from the Washington players toward the B’s net. They’ve outshot the Caps 27-8 through two periods and it really does feel that one-sided. The Capitals played last night vs. the Flyers, but this is pretty lifeless even taking that into account. Still, credit Boston for turning up the heat defensively.
2) Four goals in four games for Gregory Campbell, who tipped a Patrice Bergeron shot past Braden Holtby for the first goal. Campbell has been moving around better and producing more in the last stretch since the Olympic break and it seems that the fourth-line center is finally feeling like himself again after recovering from the broken leg in the playoffs last spring. It was one of those plays where Bergeron was on the ice to take the face-off with some odd linemates and ended up staying out there once they got pressure in the offensive zone.
3) Nice goal by Loui Eriksson sliding into a seam in front of the net and then burying the shot after a nice play by Carl Soderberg wheeling behind the net to create the entire play. Eriksson has his seventh goal of the season and continues to look better since coming back from his Team Sweden experience over at the Olympics.
4) Six shots on net, eight shots created and three takeaways for Patrice Bergeron through two periods. He’s been a man possessed with his buddy Mark Recchi in the house watching the game.
5) I’d say that Tuukka Rask is having a good game, but this might be the most fraudulent shutout of all time for a goalie if the Capitals don’t come out with something in the third period. No legs and no fight from Washington in this one.
Five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Capitals locked in a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes:
1) Bruins dominated possession and really put things on lockdown in the second half of the period, but weren’t able to get anything past Braden Holtby despite outshooting the Caps by a 10-4 margin. Where have I seen this movie before?
2) Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Reilly Smith were Boston’s best forward line in the first period. All three players were going, and both Bergeron and Smith had good scoring chances while Marchand was stirring things up at the end of the first period.
3) Perfect example of the blindside head shot rule working: Alex Ovechkin had David Krejci lined up at the blue line after a buddy pass out of the B’s defensive zone, and Ovie just grazed by Krejci rather than clean him when he had the chance. Krejci was alerted at the last minute by the Bruins bench, so he had his head up. Still, Ovechkin could have still taken out Krejc, and declined to potentially invite another long suspension by the league.
4) Great to see Mark Recchi dropping the ceremonial puck prior to the game as part of the B’s organization paying tribute to 90 years of history. He got big hugs from former linemates Bergeron and Marchand before walking off the ice.
5) Andrej Meszaros will wear No. 41. Sources say that Andrew Alberts is absolutely fuming right now.