On April 22, 1998 the Capitals opened their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series with the Boston Bruins. The game marked the first-ever Stanley Cup playoff contest played at Washington’s new home downtown in the District. Washington won it by a 3-1 score to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Just over four minutes after Washington took that two-goal lead, the Bruins shaved it back to a single goal. With ex-Bruin Joé Juneau in the penalty box for a hi-sticking infraction, ex-Cap Dmitri Khristich scored on the power play for Boston with help from ex-Cap Jason Allison and rookie sensation Sergei Samsonov.
The Capitals outshot Boston 9-7 in the middle period.
The entire third period was played with both teams at even strength and the Bruins gunning for the tying goal. Boston outshot the Caps 8-7 in the final frame, but the Caps salted the contest away when Esa Tikkanen scored into an empty Bruins net with 22 seconds remaining. Ex-Bruin Adam Oates supplied the single assist on Tikkanen’s tally.
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