Capitals Bake Bruins in Beantown, 5-3

Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals continued their dominance of the Bruins, posting their 11th straight win against Boston, winning 5-3.  The Bruins entered the contest with four straight wins and an 8-2 record in their last 10 games and Washington entered this contest with a 10-game winning streak against Boston and an 8-2 record in their last 10. The Capitals beat the Bruins 3-2 the first time these two teams met back on November 5 in Boston. These two teams will meet for the final time in two weeks time in the District. 

Brett Connolly suited up in his 300th NHL game against his former team. He played 76 games for the Bruins over two seasons. The Bruins did not qualify him as a restricted free agent in 2016 and he was signed by the Caps. Connolly scored 9 goals and 27 points during his time in Boston.

Capitals’ Lineup against the Bruins:

First Period

Scoring: Jakub Vrana scored his 10th of the season on a highlight-reel breakaway goal with 2:26 left in the period. He got the puck at center ice and danced around Bruins’ defenseman Matt Grzelcyk and roofed it top shelf for his second goal in as many games.

The Good: The Capitals outshot the Bruins 13-11 through 20 minutes. They scored the first goal for the 12th time in the last 13 games with Vrana’s tally. Jakub Vrana has five goals and six points since being scratched in Colorado last month. The Capitals had 3 takeaways and won 55% of the faceoffs in the first period.

The Bad: The Capitals drew three penalties but went 0-for-3 on the power play and only had two blocked shots. They only took two shots on the power play.

The Ugly: The Capitals have had problems with turnovers as of late and had 6 giveaways in the first frame, though the Bruins also had six.

Second Period

Scoring: Patrice Bergeron tied the game at 1-1 at 4:22 with a power-play goal after getting a pass in front from Brad Marchand. He beat Braden Holtby over his left shoulder. It was the first power-play goal the Capitals have allowed in their last 19 opportunities.

Nicklas Backstrom redirected Evgeny Kuznetsov’s shot past Anton Khudobin for his 6th of the season to regain the lead at the 12:05 mark. Backstrom has points in 10 of his last 11 games against the Bruins. The Capitals struck on their 4th power play of the game and Backstrom scored his third goal in his last five games after going 21 straight games without a goal. The Capitals went into this game 19-0-0 when Backstrom scored against Boston; lifetime against the Bruins, Backstrom has 7 goals and 36 points in 33 games. Ovechkin also picked up an assist on the play.

The Good: Nicklas Backstrom continued his dominance against Boston with a goal to take the lead. The Capitals led in blocked shots 9-6 after two periods of play.

The Bad: The Capitals gave away the puck 14 times and only won 40% of the faceoffs through the middle frame.

The Ugly: The Capitals were limited to only 3 shots on goal in the second period while the Bruins had 13. The Bruins led 24-16 in shots through 40 minutes.

Third Period

Scoring: Alex Chiasson made it 3-1 with 12:08 left for his fifth goal of the season. Christian Djoos danced around Anders Bjork and fed Chiasson in front of the net to pad the Capitals’ lead to 3-1. Chiasson’s goal marked the sixth time out of the past seven games that the Capitals have scored 3+ goals.

Alex Chiasson scored 11 seconds into a Bruins’ power play after picking up a pass from Bruins defenseman Torey Krug for his second of the period to make it 4-1 Capitals. The tally marked the second short-handed goal the Bruins have given up in as many games. Chiasson’s goal came at 11:31 for his 6th goal of the season.

Defenseman Charlie McAvoy got a shot through from the point and David Krejci tipped it past Braden Holtby to cut the Capitals’ lead in half with 3:40 to go in regulation.

Alex Ovechkin sealed it with an empty-net goal with 1:29 left. He meant to pass it to Wilson but it went off of the boards and into the Bruins’ net with his 22nd of the season.

Patrice Bergeron’s shot cut the lead to two with a wrister from the right circle with 26.4 seconds left. David Krejci tipped it past Braden Holtby for the Bruins’ second power-play goal of the game.

The Good: Alex Chiasson provided some much-needed offense to pad the Capitals’ lead. He is playing in T.J. Oshie’s current spot with Kuznetsov and Vrana and that line combined for three of Washington’s goals tonight. They led in takeaways 15-11 and in blocked shots 15-11.

The Bad: The Capitals only won 42% of the faceoffs tonight and gave away the puck 18 times.

The Ugly: The Capitals were outshot 26-13 in the final 40 minutes, including 13-6 in the third period.

Game Stats

Shots:                                  Capitals: 22                      Bruins: 37

Blocked Shots:                  Capitals: 15                      Bruins: 11

Power Play:                       Capitals: 1/4                     Bruins: 2/5

Hits:                                    Capitals: 31                      Bruins: 20

Up Next

The Capitals come home to host the Anaheim Ducks for the first of two meetings this season before going out west next week. The Ducks will be without Corey Perry, who is week-to-week with a lower-body injury. The Capitals have won five straight at home and two of their past three home games against Anaheim. The game will be at 8 PM on NBC Sports Washington.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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8 Responses to Capitals Bake Bruins in Beantown, 5-3

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    The second period — not good. But at least they pulled ahead to stay after that. Overall, team relatively poor in faceoffs and caught in the defensive zone for long periods to the point where it would feel like Boston was on the Power play. The last goal hurt Holtby’s save percentage (as was true in last game) but it had also happened after the game was basically decided.

    Nice goal by Vrana. Great day for Chiasson.

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