Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
The Washington Capitals fell to the Boston Bruins by a score of 5-3 at Capital One Arena on Monday night. The loss kept the Capitals tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for first in the East Division with each team having played 10 games this season. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 28 saves in his seventh straight start.
Capitals’ Lines vs. Bruins
Forward Conor Sheary was elevated to the second-line while forward Jakub Vrana was dropped to the fourth. Captain Alex Ovechkin was lifted to the first. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov played for the first time in five games after having COVID-19 antibodies and Jonas Siegenthaler came out of the lineup in favor of Orlov, who skated on the second-pair with Nick Jensen. Center Lars Eller and defenseman Justin Schultz (upper-body injuries) each missed their second consecutive game. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov and center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who are both on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list, both missed their sixth straight game.
Forward Carl Hagelin tipped in defenseman John Carlson’s blast by the blocker of Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak in front of the goal crease at 11:03 but the goal was called back after the Bruins challenged for offsides.
Former Bruins captain Zdeno Chara blasted a shot from the top blocker-side of Halak off of the faceoff to get the Capitals on the board at 13:26.
BIG ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 2, 2021
that’s the tweet. pic.twitter.com/0mqKw8aVRa
Forward Daniel Sprong beat Halak through the five-hole after weaving past center Charlie Coyle and getting a feed from Vrana to extend the lead by two 11 seconds later. The goals were the quickest back-to-back markers by the Capitals this season.
when it rains it ✨pours✨ pic.twitter.com/zvuEDNjDyP— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 2, 2021
The Capitals led 15-8 in shots, 9-8 in hits, 4-3 in blocked shots, won 67% of the faceoffs, and failed to score on two power-play opportunities in the opening stanza.
The Bruins had no giveaways while the Capitals had four and did not have a power-play in the first.
Both teams were credited with two takeaways in the period.
Carlson let the puck fly from up top after a give-and-go with Vrana, who was at the half wall, and beat Halak to the top corner to give the Capitals a 3-0 advantage on the power-play 8:35 into the period.
prettyyyyy prettty prettyy goood pic.twitter.com/EpM6moURm3— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 2, 2021
Forward David Pastrnak scorched a shot through the wickets of Vanecek from the slot after forward Brad Marchand laid it on a tee for him from the sideboards to cut the Capitals’ lead to 3-1 with 7:23 to go in the second.
The Capitals led 20-17 in shots, 10-7 in blocked shots, 5-3 in takeaways, and scored on one of their four power-plays through 40 minutes.
The Bruins led 9-5 in second-period shots, 17-13 in hits, had no giveaways while the Capitals had seven, and failed to score on three power-plays in the first two periods.
Each team won 50% of the draws through two.
Pastrnak ripped one to the blocker-side of Vanecek after picking the puck up from behind the net to make it a one-goal game and strike for his second 6:08 into the third.
Capitals forward Tom Wilson dropped the gloves with Bruins forward Trent Frederic at 8:49.
Forward Craig Smith buried a cross-crease backhand pass from defenseman Jeremy Lauzon, who pinched down low, at the side of the goal to tie it with 6:53 left.
Defenseman Brandon Carlo hammered one from the right circle after getting a feed from center Sean Kuraly from below the goal line with 2:37 left in regulation.
Marchand skated into the offensive zone for an empty-net goal with 1:26 to go.
The Capitals led 20-17 in shots, 19-8 in blocked shots, 9-8 in takeaways, and scored on one of their four power-plays.
The Bruins led 33-26 in shots, including 16-6 in the third period, 27-17 in hits, had two giveaways while the Capitals had 11, won 51% of the draws, and didn’t score on four power-plays.
The Capitals will hit the road for a brief trip to the Big Apple to take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night. Action will start at 7 PM ET and can be seen on NBC Sports Washington locally or NHL Network nationally.
By Harrison Brown