Bruins top Capitals in comeback fashion, 4-3

735666.jpg

Bruins top Capitals in comeback fashion, 4-3

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.

Five things to look for from the NFL annual meetings this week

belichick.jpg

Five things to look for from the NFL annual meetings this week

PHOENIX -- Bill Belichick may not be speaking with the media here this week, but there will be plenty for us to examine at the annual league meetings. 

Reporters were informed via a team spokesperson that the Patriots coach would not be in attendance at the AFC coaches breakfast Tuesday morning -- where in the past orange juice has been sipped and tape recorders have been bulldozed -- due to a scouting conflict. 

The breakfast is not mandatory for coaches so for Belichick to use his time at a college pro day (Florida, Texas and Iowa State all have theirs scheduled for Tuesday) or a private workout comes as little surprise. He's been busy on the Trail of Due Diligence in recent weeks, making visits to Vanderbilt, Ohio State and Michigan in order to get a closer look at prospects.

Five weeks behind, remember? No days off. 

Patriots owner Robert Kraft is planning to meet with reporters on Monday so we'll have an opportunity to hear from him on a variety of topics when that comes to pass. 

Here are some of the other Patriots-related stories we'll be doing some digging on this week as we keep you updated with blog posts, occasional television hits, tweets (@PhilAPerry), Instagram shots (@PhilAPerry), and maybe even a podcast or two.

* What does the rest of the league think when it sees the way the Patriots have attacked this offseason? How will the new pieces fit? Do other coaches and executives see it as Belichick going all in on 2017? Or is this just a case of a team adhering to its motto of doing "what's best for the football team" -- both in the short and long-term?

* What's next for the Patriots? They're not done building the roster so where might they turn next? Will they add other lower-level free agents? Will they be looking to trade back into the first and second rounds? Which positions seem to be of interest to them in the draft, and how might that signal the direction this roster is headed?

* What is the feeling on the future at the quarterback position in New England? We know the Patriots aren't looking to give away Jimmy Garoppolo, but do people around the league really feel as though a haul of draft picks really won't get the Patriots to think twice about trading him? Is it possible that in this rare scenario -- where the franchise quarterback is playing at an MVP-level but headed into his 40-year-old season -- people could see the Patriots paying two passers a starter's salary?

* Will anything happen with Malcolm Butler before the meetings are out? Some have speculated that if his status as a restricted free agent (with an unsigned first-round tender) is to change anytime soon, it could happen here, where presumably his agent will be able to hear offers from one or more clubs in person. Will Butler find a team willing to give him an offer sheet and relinquish its first-round pick to the Patriots? Or will he sign his tender -- whether it's with the intent to play for the Patriots in 2017, or to be traded?

* Rules changes are coming. We just don't know which ones. Will the linebacker leap (executed by Jamie Collins and Shea McClellin under Belichick) be eliminated? Will Stephen Gostkowski soon be looking to blast kickoffs through the uprights due to the passing of a rule that would place the ball at the 20 as opposed to the 25 for such a feat? Will real-time replay decisions suddenly shift from the officials on the field to the NFL offices at 345 Park Avenue? We'll let you know which proposals are held up, which fall flat, and how the Patriots might be impacted. Belichick and his staff did not submit any proposals for the second consecutive year.

Morning Skate: Old friend Warsofsky called up by Penguins

cp_morning_skate-.jpg

Morning Skate: Old friend Warsofsky called up by Penguins

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while waiting for the next wave of announcements that the Bruins have signed college players out of the NCAA tournament.
 
-- Former Wild goaltender Josh Harding is finding his way after his MS diagnosis forced him out of the NHL prematurely.

-- Young D-man Seth Jones is becoming the “hoss” defenseman that the Blue Jackets will need come playoff time.

-- PHT writer Cam Tucker has Wild coach Bruce Boudreau calling a loss to the Canucks “embarrassing” as the hard times continue for Minnesota.  

-- Backup goalie Curtis McElhinney is ready to step up for the Leafs after they lost Frederik Andersen to injury.
 
-- Old friend David Warsofsky has been recalled from the AHL and will be with the Penguins as crunch time hits ahead of the playoffs.

-- USA Hockey is now reportedly reaching out to rec league and former Division III women’s hockey players to find a replacement roster for the world championships as the USA women continues their boycott.
 
-- For something completely different: We have an honest-to-goodness think piece about pulling the “Irish Exit.” Well, okay then.