Caps upend Bruins, win 3-2 in shootout

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Caps upend Bruins, win 3-2 in shootout

BOSTON -- Brooks Laich scored the game-winning goal in Thursday night's shootout at the TD Garden to give the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win over the Bruins in a game that the B's just barely got a point.

The Bruins forced overtime -- and eventually a shootout -- with two goals in the final 3:10, which started with David Krejci's re-direction of a Zdeno Chara shot from the point that found the back of the net, cutting Washington's lead to 2-1.

Two minutes later, Andrew Ference's shot from the middle of the point hit Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth under the left arm and went in, tying the game at 2-2.

Former Bruin Dennis Wideman had initially given the Capitals a 1-0 lead after he beat Tim Thomas with a wrister from the high slot, after Marcus Johansson took the puck down to the right half-wall, turned around, and found Wideman wide open stepping into the high slot.

Johansson added a second Washington goal just two minutes later, after he finished a 2-on-1 with Alex Ovechkin, who came streaking down the left side of the ice with the puck and flipped a pass over Zdeno Chara's stick to Johansson for the one-timer.

Both teams were scoreless through two periods, as the Bruins held the advantage in shots at 15-9.

B's defenseman Adam McQuaid never returned for the second period -- or for the rest of the game -- after being hit into the boards at an awkward angle late in the first period by Capitals forward Jason Chimera.

McQuaid left the ice with team trainers holding a gauze pad on his head, and as a result of the hit behind the Boston net, Chimera was ejected from the game.

Chimera wasn't the only Capitals player to leave the game in the first period. Washington goaltender Tomas Vokoun left with an injury in the final minutes of the first, and Neuvirth finished the game.

'Ecstatic' Thomas was with Celtics teammates via FaceTime after Game 3 win

'Ecstatic' Thomas was with Celtics teammates via FaceTime after Game 3 win

CLEVELAND – Gone but definitely not forgotten.

Isaiah Thomas, out for the rest of the playoffs with a right hip injury, wasn’t in the Q Arena physically, but his presence – and his face via FaceTime – were inside the locker room in the initial moments following their 111-108 Game 3 win over Cleveland.

“We called him right after the game,” said Boston’s Avery Bradley. “He got to celebrate with us a little bit. It’s sad that he’s not here. We wish he was here with us. We just want him to get better.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens added, “I didn’t even realize that had happened until later on. one of my first text messages was from Isaiah.  He’s hurting not being out there but he’s completely invested, for sure.”

He initially suffered the injury on March 15 at Minnesota, but re-aggravated it in the first half of Boston’s Game 2 loss to the Cavs. Less than 24 hours later, Thomas was deemed out for the remainder of the playoffs.

Instead of Thomas being the rock of sorts that the Celtics lean on with his play, he has become their rallying cry for the remainder of the playoffs.

“All we can do is play hard for him,” Bradley said. “He was excited with the way we played. We’re a family. Other guys got an opportunity to step up for us. Marcus (Smart) had a big game for us. It could be somebody else next game.”

Smart led the Celtics with a career-high 27 points which included a career-best seven 3’s going down.

And most important, the Celtics avoided going down 3-0 which would have all but sealed their fate in this series considering no team in league history has ever come back for a 3-0 series deficit.

Doing so without Thomas, the Celtics’ leading scorer and the top regular season scorer in the Eastern Conference, made the win all that more impressive for Boston.

“It meant a lot,” Horford said. “We know, Isaiah gives us so much and gave us so much this year. For him, we definitely wanted to come out and fight for him and our season and our team. It felt good to keep believing despite being down big. Just felt good to win the game and bring life back to our locker room. Because going down 3-0, that’s a death sentence pretty much. This was big.”

Not only to the Celtics players but also to Thomas who also texted head coach Brad Stevens full of excitement following Boston’s surprising win.

“He was excited,” Horford recalled. “He was ecstatic. I know he wishes he was here being part of it. We just need to keep doing it for him and our group and doing the best we can.”