WASHINGTON, DC The Bruins had to bring their hard hats with them to the nations capital if they were hoping for a good result.
Thats exactly what they got as they battled their way from behind, saw the third and fourth lines step up in a big way, and provide the final blow courtesy of their captain in a 4-3 victory at the Verizon Center in Game 3.
The victory gives the Bruins a 2-1 edge in the series and gives them back home ice advantage after suffering a home loss to the Caps last weekend.
Down 2-1 after Rich Peverley and Alex Ovechkin traded goals to start the second period, Daniel Paille and Brian Rolston stood tall in front of the net to collect rebounds for the tying and go-ahead goals in the final two periods.
That go-ahead goal was the first lead the Bruins have had all series, but it wouldn't last too long. With six minutes to go in the game, the Capitals' Brooks Laich got behind an entire unsuspecting Bruins line along the boards and deked Thomas, tying things up at four.
With that, it looked as if Game 3 would also go into overtime, but Zdeno Chara had other ideas. Skating 4-on-4 with under two minutes remaining, Chara blasted a shot from the right point that found its way into the back of the net.
That was your game, as the B's held off a last-minute Capitals push.
The Bruins tied things up at two when Paille backhanded the rebound of a Greg Zanon shot past a diving Braden Holtby. Rolston fired away from the slot after Caps rookie netminder Braden Holtby couldnt control a Chris Kelly shot. Combine that with Holbys shaky glove hand on Peverleys score to open the second period, and perhaps the fairy tale story is ending for the 22-year-old rookie puck-stopper.
The goal by Rolston arrived after Tim Thomas saved Bostons bacon with a point blank stop on Jay Beagle in the middle of the second period a point when another Washington goal could have been a killer.
Otherwise it was another tight game between the Bruins and Capitals with both teams playing it relatively close to the vest, and Thomas finishing four saves (29 to 25) better than his young counterpart out on the frozen sheet.
Perhaps the biggest difference for both teams: big name Washington players like Ovechkin and Alex Semin have arrived in the series for the Capitals, and many of the Bruins best forwards are still missing in action.