Postgame Notebook: Bruins 3, Capitals 2, OT
Tough Way to Lose –
For the second time in 11 days, the Capitals and the Boston Bruins hooked up in an exciting and compelling game that kept spectators glued to the action from start to finish. Unfortunately for the Capitals, Washington lost it 3-2 in overtime when Bruins center David Krejci banked a shot off Caps defenseman Shaone Morrisonn for the game-winner, the first overtime goal of his NHL career.
A game this good deserved a better ending, a “cleaner” game-winning goal. But the Capitals certainly had their chances to put this one away earlier.
Both goaltenders made some great stops but Washington had the better of the scoring chances on the night. In the first minute of the extra session, Nicklas Backstrom
nearly won it for Washington when he pounced on a rebound of an Alex Ovechkin
shot, only to have Boston’s Tim Thomas rob him. The Bruins tore off in transition, and Backstrom was forced to hook the B’s Zdeno Chara to eliminate a glorious scoring chance.
Washington goaltender Jose Theodore made a game-saving stop on Boston defenseman Shane Hnidy late in regulation and another brilliant glove save on Krejci early in the Boston overtime power play, but wasn’t able to make the stop on the fluky carom off Morrisonn.
Although the game-winner might not have been a pretty one, this contest left many observers hoping for a playoff series between these two teams this spring.
Extra Man Ups and Downs –
The Caps’ power play had its ups and downs on this night. Washington failed to score in six extra man chances on the evening, although its first goal came just one second after Boston’s Marc Savard exited the penalty box. The Caps were dominant on their first power play of the night, registering four shots on goal, moving the puck well, creating chances and spending almost all of the two minutes in the Boston end.
On their next three power play chances, the Caps did very little. Washington had four shots on those three extra-man opportunities and managed little in the way of strong scoring chances or sustained attack zone pressure.
Early in the third period, the Capitals had a fifth power play chance. They again dominated the Bruins, pouring five shots on goal and spending almost the entire two minutes pressuring the B’s. A final power play later in the third produced just one shot.
For the night, the Caps were 0-for-6 with the extra man despite putting 14 shots on Thomas in just 11:45 of power play time.
The Capitals have now gone consecutive games without scoring a power play goal for the first time in nearly two months (Nov. 28-29).
Shooting Gallery –
Washington outshot Boston 36-28 on the night, marking the 12th straight game in which the Capitals launched 30 or more shots on goal. That is the second longest streak of its kind in the team’s franchise history. Washington had 30 or more shots on goal in each of the team’s final 15 games of the 1983-84 season.
Historic Start –
With one game remaining in January, the Caps are now 6-4-1 this month. In gaining a point against Boston on Tuesday, the Capitals ensured themselves of finishing the month with a winning record (or what passes for a winning record in the modern NHL) for the fourth straight month at the start of the season for the first time in franchise history.
The 200 Club –
Caps left wing Donald Brashear dropped the gloves with Boston’s Byron Bitz midway through the third period of Tuesday’s game. The tilt marked the 200th fighting major of Brashear’s 970-game NHL career and the first fighting major (and first penalty minutes) of Bitz’s seven-game NHL career.
Even For 52
– Mike Green
’s first period goal came one second after a penalty to Boston’s Marc Savard expired. It was Green’s 13th goal of the season, but just his third at even strength. Green’s previous even strength goal came on New Year’s Day in a 7-4 victory over Tampa Bay.
Killing With Kindness –
For the ninth game in a row, the Caps allowed at least one power play goal against. The Capitals have killed off 35 of 49 (71.4%) of their manpower disadvantages over the last nine games.
It’s the longest streak of its kind since 2006-07 when the Caps had a nine-game streak of allowing at least one power play goal from Oct. 7-28, 2006. Washington killed 46 of 58 (79.3%) of its shorthanded situations during that nine-game run in 2006-07.
Semin Still Streaking –
Caps left wing Alexander Semin
picked up an assist on Green’s first period goal. Semin now has a point in seven straight games (four goals, four assists), one game shy of his career high scoring streak. Semin has picked up at least a point in 14 of his last 15 games.
Streak Stopped –
Boston’s Shawn Thornton scored an even-strength goal at 9:28 of the first period, ending Washington’s streak of not having allowed an even-strength strike in 208:02. The last even-strength goal the Caps had allowed prior to Thornton’s was a goal from Pittsburgh’s Ryan Whitney at 3:12 of the third period of Washington’s 6-3 win over the Pens on Jan. 14.
Although Whitney’s goal was officially an even-strength tally, it came on a delayed penalty while the Pens had pulled goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for an extra attacker. Prior to Thornton’s goal, the last goal given up by the Caps in a five skaters vs. five skaters situation was a Miroslav Satan goal in the second period of the aforementioned Pittsburgh game. The Caps went 222:51 between allowing a goal in a five skaters vs. five skaters situation.
Keeping it Tight –
Including tonight’s game, both Washington and Boston have scored more than three goals only once in their last 17 meetings against one another. The Caps took a 10-2 decision over the B’s last March 8, and the Bruins authored a 4-3 overtime win over Washington on Dec. 27, 2005.
No Need to Worry –
Including tonight’s game, Boston has a 14-4-2 record when surrendering the game’s first goal. The Bruins’ .700 winning pct. in such situations is tops in the NHL.
Tonight also marked the 11th time the Bruins have been outshot at home this season. Boston is 10-0-1 in those 11 contests.
Elite Company –
Boston’s Tim Thomas was the winning goaltender in the 2009 NHL All-Star Game, marking the second consecutive year in which he has achieved that distinction. In doing so, Thomas has joined some very, very elite company.
Before Thomas turned the trick, four NHL goaltenders won consecutive All-Star Games. Three of the four are Hockey Hall of Famers and the fourth is a lead pipe cinch for enshrinement in his first year of Hall eligibility.
Here’s the list: Frankie Brimsek (1947, 1948), Jacques Plante (1958, 1959), Johnny Bower (1961, 1962) and Martin Brodeur (1997, 1998).
|Three star selections