Capitals Blast Bruins, 8-1; Sheary, Oshie, Eller Score Twice

Photo: Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins 8-1 at TD Garden on Sunday. The win improved the Capitals’ record to 27-11-4 (58 points) on the season and remain in a tie for first place in the MassMutual East Division with the New York Islanders. The Capitals scored eight goals in a game for the first time since January 9, 2010 — an 8-1 win at the Atlanta Thrashers. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 34 saves in the victory.

Lines & Pairs

Graphic: @Capitals

First Period

Just four seconds into the opening frame, defenseman Brenden Dillon and Bruins’ forward Chris Wagner dropped the gloves. Each took a five-minute fighting major, but neither team could convert.

Forward T.J. Oshie (13) would get the scoring started at the 7:33 mark on a power-play, giving the Capitals a 1-0 lead. Centers Nicklas Backstrom (28) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (14) assisted.

Sixteen seconds later, the Capitals’ lead would be extended thanks to center Lars Eller (6). Forwards Carl Hagelin (7) and Garnet Hathaway (10) had the helpers.

Forward Conor Sheary (9) gave the Capitals a 3-0 lead 9:42 into the period. Defenseman Dmitry Orlov (6) and forward Daniel Sprong (6) had the assists.

Quick Stats

SOG: 9-7 Capitals

Face-Off Win %: 50%-50%

Hits: 7-2 Bruins

Second Period

Putting the Capitals ahead 4-0, Sheary (10) would pick up his second goal of the night on a power-play 4:41 into the middle frame. Forwards Tom Wilson (15) and Jakub Vrana (14) assisted.

Center Nic Dowd (8) would make it a 5-0 game at the 16:03 mark. Hagelin (8) had the lone helper.

A power-play goal from Wilson (10) gave the Capitals a 6-0 lead at the 18:24 mark. Captain Alex Ovechkin (16) and defenseman Justin Schultz (19) assisted.

Quick Stats

Total SOG: 23-23

Face-Off Win %: 60% (Bruins), 40% (Capitals)

Total Hits: 15-9 Bruins

Third Period

The Bruins would get one back on a power-play. Center Craig Smith made it 6-1 just three minutes into the final period.

Oshie (14) notched his second goal of the night at the 10:13 mark. Backstrom (29) assisted.

Eller (7) would also score his second goal of the night 13:14 of the third period, giving the Capitals a major 8-1 lead. Oshie  (19) and Dillon (13) had the helpers.

That would be the final score.

Quick Stats

Total SOG: 35-33 Bruins

Face-Off Win %: 54% (Bruins), 46% (Capitals)

Total Hits: 25-13 Bruins

Notes Through the Game

  • The Bruins honored 14-year former captain Zdeno Chara with a video tribute. He received a standing ovation as this was the first time Chara was back at TD Garden with fans in the stands.
  • Oshie’s thirteenth goal of the season is the team-leading ninth power-play goal.
  • Backstrom recorded the primary assist on the Capitals’ first goal, his 28th assist of the season. He is now two assists shy of passing Daniel Alfredsson (713a) for the fourth-most assists by a Swedish-born player in NHL history.
  • Entering tonight’s game, Sheary’s 1.06 goals per 60 minutes of five-on-five play ranked fourth on the Capitals.
  • Hathaway recorded his tenth assist of the season on the Capitals’ second goal, setting a new single-season career-high.
  • Sheary has recorded at least 10 goals in five straight seasons.
  • Eleven of Wilson’s 15 assists this season are primary assists, which is the third most on the Capitals (Schultz: 15; Backstrom: 12).
  • With a goal tonight, Dowd has tied a career-high in goals (8g in 2018-19).
  • Hagelin’s second assist of the game marked his second multi-assist game of the season.
  • Wilson’s goal also marked his third power-play goal of the season.
  • The Capitals have seven players with at least 10 goals this season, tied with the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers for the most in the NHL.
  • The Capitals’ three power-play goals tonight match a single-game high this season (3 PPG, February 21 vs. New Jersey Devils).
  • Oshie recorded his 31st career multi-goal game tonight.
  • Since joining the Capitals in 2015-16, Oshie ranks second on the Capitals with 141 goals (Ovechkin: 252).
  • Backstrom recorded his 713th career assist on the Capitals’ seventh goal, tying him with Daniel Alfredsson for the fourth-most assists by a Swedish-born player in NHL history. Additionally, Backstrom passes Jean Beliveau and Scott Stevens (712) for the 51st-most assists in NHL history.
  • Eller now has six points (2g, 4a) in his last seven games.
  • With an assist on the Capitals’ eighth goal, Oshie recorded his fourth three-point game of the season, which leads the team. He has now recorded 600 career points.
  • Vanecek improved to 17-7-3 this season and sits 10 wins shy of matching the most wins by a Capitals rookie goaltender.
  • The Capitals improve to 14-6-2 on the road this season and their .682 point percentage on the road is the second-best in the NHL.
  • Vanecek earned his 17th win of the season, which leads rookie goaltenders and ranks fifth among all goaltenders. He has stopped 124 of 130 shots faced over his last four starts (.954 SV%).
  • The Capitals scored eight goals on 33 shots (24.2 shooting percentage) against Boston. The Capitals’ 12.2 shooting percentage this season ranks first in the NHL.
  • All twelve of Washington’s forwards recorded a point against Boston. It marks the fifth game in franchise history in which the Capitals had every forward record a point and the first since January 19, 2017, against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
  • With an assist against Boston, Dillon has now recorded five assists in his last five games. He has recorded 15 points (2g, 13a) in 42 games this season, surpassing his point total from 2019-20 in 27 fewer games (1g-13a-14p in 69 games).
  • Oshie, the 24th overall selection in the 2005 NHL Draft, became the fourth player from his draft class and the ninth active American-born player to reach the 600-point mark.
  • The Capitals became the seventh team to score eight or more goals in a game this season and fifth in the month of April.

The Capitals kick-off a quick two-game homestand at Capital One Arena on Tuesday hosting the Philadelphia Flyers. NBCSN and NBC Sports Washington will have the coverage starting 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 X: @dellayoung
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