WASHINGTON DC – The final result, another blown third period lead, was the undeniable backdrop for what happened to the Bruins in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday night. It is also the sixth loss for the Black and Gold in their last eight games while they roll into the Stanley Cup playoffs expected to start next week by Thursday at the latest.
But the Bruins were instead excited about the 2-0 lead they were able to cobble together, and the good things they were doing as a team to get themselves in their good position on the scoreboard. They were breaking pucks out of their zone cleanly, winning battles all over the ice and limiting the number of true quality chances that Washington enjoyed before things went power play crazy in the third period.
“I thought we played a pretty good. We took penalties and they cost us,” said Tuukka Rask, who has lost four out of six games despite stopping nearly 95 percent of the shots he faced. “I thought five-on-five we were a really good team out there. We had some chances, and outside of the penalties it wasn’t a bad game.
“It’s always disappointing, though, when you’re up by two goals and you lose the game.”
While the three power play goals surrendered – a team-worst achievement for Boston this season -- in the third period and overtime were clearly something the Bruins hope to forget about soon. But they can hang their hat on Rask’s performance during five-on-five play and Boston’s ability to bounce back when Washington hit them with everything they had earlier on in the afternoon.
The second period when they outshot Washington by a 15-9 margin and extended their lead to 2-0 was among the best 20 minute segments that the Bruins have played all season. But now it’s about closing in the third period, and that’s something the Bruins didn’t do for the mind-numbing eighth time this year with s limp performance on Saturday night.
They still have one more day to get it right during the regular season on Sunday night, but let’s all be honest when we say that nothing really matters with the Black and Gold once they were in the playoffs. They’ll need a much more complete 60-minute effort for their Boston hockey club if they’re looking for the same happy ending of two years ago.