Capitals Beat Bruins, 4-2; Alex Ovechkin Scores A Pair

@PR_NHL.jpgPhoto: @PR_NHL

The Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins by a score of 4-2 at TD Garden on Thursday night for their third straight win and 14th consecutive victory against Boston. The win put the Capitals at 58 points this season, four ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins with each team playing 43 games. Goaltender Braden Holtby made 39 saves in the win. 

Capitals Lines at Bruins

Center Nicklas Backstrom returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday’s 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers due to an illness. Forward Andre Burakovsky served as a healthy scratch while center Nic Dowd drew into the lineup. Center Travis Boyd was elevated to the third line.

Goaltender Jaroslav Halak started for the Bruins, who entered the game winning five in a row.

First Period

Forward Jakub Vrana buried a wrist shot blocker side on Halak after getting sent on a breakaway by forward T.J. Oshie for his third goal in two games and his 15th of the season.

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin dumped 6’9″ defenseman Zdeno Chara into the Capitals’ bench later in the first.

The Capitals led 10-5 in hits and 8-2 in blocked shots after one period of play.

The Bruins led 17-5 in shots, 4-2 in takeaways, and had only one giveaway while the Capitals had seven in the first. Boston won 53% of the draws in the opening 20 minutes.

Second Period

Capitals forward T.J. Oshie would leave the game after getting hit into the corner by Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller but would return.

Forward Ryan Donato sniped one past Holtby’s glove from the right dot with 5:49 left in the period to tie the game.

Ovechkin responded 39 seconds later with a nice wrister that went over the shoulder of Halak after getting a pass from forward Tom Wilson, who was behind the net, to give the Capitals their lead back. It was Ovechkin’s league-leading 31st goal of the season.

Ovechkin layed defenseman Brandon Carlo down in front of the Bruins net.

The Capitals led 24-17 in hits and 13-7 in blocked shots after 40 minutes.

The Bruins led 28-12 in shots, including 11-7 in the middle frame, 11-5 in takeaways, had only five giveaways while the Capitals had 11, and won 62% of the faceoffs through two periods of play.

Each team didn’t convert on the power-play in the first two periods. The Capitals had two opportunities with the extra man while the Bruins had four.

Third Period

Bruins center David Krejci scored from the right circle on a slap shot that went glove side on Holtby to tie the game with 15:24 left in the third.

Center Nicklas Backstrom responded 70 seconds later going low glove side on Halak from the slot after carrying the puck from the neutral zone to the offensive zone. The goal was his first in 15 games to give the Capitals their lead back.

Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov left the game with 6:09 to go after missing a hit on Donato. He hit Donato’s shoulder and then went into the boards.

Ovechkin added an empty-netter from the left circle in his own end for his second of the game and 32nd of the season. The goal was Ovechkin’s 33rd empty-netter of his career, which tied Mario Lemieux for the third-most NHL goals in NHL history. He also put himself in the top-50 point leaders in league history.

The Capitals led 32-25 in hits and 18-7 in blocked shots. Washington went 0-for-2 on the man advantage.

The Bruins led 41-22 in shots, including 13-10 in the final stanza, 12-7 in takeaways, had only six giveaways while the Capitals had 14, and won 66% of the faceoffs. They went 1-for-5 on the power-play.

The Capitals are now 16-1-0 in their past 17 games against Eastern Conference opponents.

The Capitals next face the Columbus Blue Jackets at Capital One Arena on Saturday night. Action from the District can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 7 PM Eastern.

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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