Capitals Defeat Bruins, 2-1 in Shootout; Zdeno Chara Returns to Boston

Photo: Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 in a shootout at TD Garden on Wednesday. The win improves the Capitals record to 13-5-4 (30 points) and first place in the MassMutual East Division. The Capitals extended their winning streak to four games, which is the longest win streak of the season. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 18 saves in the victory.

Capitals’ Lines at Bruins

Photo: @Capitals

Forward Daniel Sprong came out of the lineup as center Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper-body) returned after missing two games. On the Bruins’ side, center Charlie Coyle was placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list on Wednesday.

First Period

The Capitals nearly opened the scoring thanks to forward T.J. Oshie, but the Bruins successfully challenged offsides after review. The remainder of the period would be scoreless.

Quick Stats

SOG: 7-2 Capitals

Power-Play: 0/2 (Capitals), 0/1 (Bruins)

Face-Off Win %: 64% (Capitals), 36% (Bruins)

Hits: 13-12 Bruins

Second Period 

The next twenty minutes would be scoreless as well.

Quick Stats

Total SOG: 11-9 Capitals

Power-Play: 0/1 Bruins

Face-Off Win %: 64% (Capitals), 36% (Bruins)

Total Hits: 25-21 Capitals

Third Period

At the 1:19 mark, forward David Pastrnak got the Bruins on the board, giving the home team a 1-0 lead with his tenth goal of the season. Forward Brad Marchand assisted.

Center Lars Eller tied the game 1-1 at the 6:14 mark with his fifth goal thus far this season. Forward Richard Panik (5) and defenseman Nick Jensen (7) had the helpers.

Quick Stats

Total SOG: 23-18 Capitals

Power-Play: 0/1 (Capitals), 0/1 (Bruins)

Face-Off Win %: 50% (Capitals), 50% (Bruins)

Total Hits: 28-25 Capitals

Overtime & Shootout

Sixty minutes wasn’t enough and the game headed into five-minute three-on-three overtime, but neither team was successful to convert. Forward Jakub Vrana netted the game-winner in the shootout and 2-1 would be final.

Bruins’ Jake DeBrusk — Saved

Vrana — Goal

Pastrnak — Saved

Oshie — Saved

Marchand — Saved

Essential Notes

  • The Bruins honored 14-year former captain Zdeno Chara tonight.
  • Justin Schultz played in his 500th career game. Schultz’s nine points (2g, 7a) this season rank second among Capitals defensemen.
  • Eller’s goal marked his fourth straight game with a point (3g, 2a).
  • Jensen picked up his seventh assist of the season and third in his last four games.
  • With the shootout goal, Vrana is three for six (50 percent) in the shootout in his career.
  • Vanecek has recorded a 2-1 record in games that have gone to the shootout this season and has stopped seven of eight shootout attempts (.875 shootout save percentage).
  • Vanecek has now won three straight games and has posted a 10-4-3 record in 18 games this season. Vanecek’s 10 wins are the most among rookie goaltenders and rank tied for third in the NHL.
  • The Capitals held Boston to 19 shots, the fewest shots the Capitals have allowed in a game this season.
  • Head coach Peter Laviolette earned his 650th career win against Boston. Laviolette becomes one of eight active head coaches and the 15th overall to reach the 650-win mark.
  • Laviolette has a 650-430-25-127 career record as a head coach. Laviolette’s .589 point percentage is the sixth-highest point percentage among coaches with 650 career wins.
  • Laviolette only trails John Tortorella (663) for the most wins by an American-born coach.
  • Forward Conor Sheary logged 18:31 time on ice against Boston, marking a season-high.
  • Center Nic Dowd won nine of 12 faceoffs (75%) against the Bruins. Since February 16, Dowd has won 79 of 123 faceoffs (64.2%), the second-highest faceoff win percentage in the NHL among skaters with at least 120 faceoffs taken.
  • Chara recorded 16:59 time on ice, posted a +1 plus/minus rating, registered two hits, and blocked one shot against Boston.
  • Chara is averaging 19:18 time on ice per game this season, the third-highest average on the Capitals.
  • Since February 16, Vanecek is 5-1-1 with 1.84 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage. During that span, he ranks tied for first in the NHL in wins, third in goals-against average, and sixth in save percentage among goaltenders with at least five games played.

The Capitals will face off against the Bruins on Friday at TD Garden. NBC Sports Washington will have the coverage at 7 PM ET.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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