Bruins Blast Capitals, 5-1; Nicklas Backstrom Earns 700th Career Assist

Photo: Brian Babineau/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Boston Bruins by a score of 5-1 at TD Garden on Friday. The loss kept the Capitals tied with the New York Islanders and put them just one point ahead of the Bruins for first place in the East Division with the Capitals and Islanders both having played 23 games this season. Though, the Bruins have a game in hand. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 14 saves in the loss before getting pulled in favor of Ilya Samsonov, who made six, near the end of the second period.

Capitals’ Lines at Bruins

Photo: @Capitals

The Capitals made no line changes from their 2-1 shootout win over the Bruins on Wednesday.

First Period

Forward Brad Marchand backhanded one past the glove of Vanecek in front after captain Patrice Bergeron shook off capitals forward Richard Panik at the side of the net to make it 1-0 Bruins 14:21 in.

Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo left the game after being crunched by Capitals forward Tom Wilson along the boards and did not return due to an upper-body injury. Wilson was not assessed a penalty.

The Capitals led 12-8 in shots, 12-6 in hits, and failed to score on their lone power-play of the first.

The Bruins led 4-3 in blocked shots and had two giveaways while the Capitals had five in the period.

Each team recorded three takeaways and won 50% of the draws through 20 minutes.

Second Period

Wilson and Bruins defenseman Jared Tinordi threw some haymakers at 6:12 in an even bout.

Bruins forward Trent Frederic tapped in defenseman Charlie McAvoy’s point feed at the side of the net to extend the lead to 2-0 6:43 into the period.

Bergeron finished off a three-way passing play from the slot into a wide-open net after getting fed by forward David Pastrnak to make it 3-0 at 9:01.

Marchand tipped in defenseman Matt Grzelcyk’s feed from the half-wall at the doorstep after Grzelcyk caught the puck out of midair to open up a 4-0 lead for the Bruins with 5:02 left.

Samsonov replaced Vanecek with 2:43 remaining in the period.

The Capitals led 20-18 in shots, 24-17 in hits, and 8-7 in takeaways through 40 minutes.

The Bruins led 10-8 in second-period shots, 8-6 in blocked shots, won 62% of the draws, and had six giveaways while the Capitals had 11 in the first two periods.

Each team did not score on one power play through the second.

Third Period

Forward Brett Ritchie buried a cross-ice feed from center David Krejci after forward Jake DeBrusk advanced the puck when it was heading out of the offensive zone to make it a five-spot for the Bruins 1:05 into the third.

Wilson took down Frederic off of the ensuing center-ice faceoff.

Forward Jakub Vrana beat Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak to the blocker-side from the right dot after center Nicklas Backstrom fed him from the half-wall in a scramble to earn the 700th assist of his career and cut the Bruins’ lead to 5-1 with 6:24 to go. Backstrom became the 23rd-fastest player in NHL history to reach the milestone (979 games).

The Capitals led 32-25 in shots, including 12-7 in the third, 34-22 in hits, 13-9 in takeaways, and did not convert on three power-play opportunities.

The Bruins led 10-8 in third-period shots, 9-7 in blocked shots, won 53% of the draws, and had eight giveaways while the Capitals had 15. They did not score on two power plays.

The Capitals will visit the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night. Action from Wells Fargo Center will start at 7 PM ET beginning 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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3 Responses to Bruins Blast Capitals, 5-1; Nicklas Backstrom Earns 700th Career Assist

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

    Four more games left in this series, then possibly in playoffs. This could get really ugly.

  2. Pingback: Saturday Caps Clips: Bruised by the Bruins

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

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