Capitals Cage Bruins In Beantown, 2-1; Nicklas Backstrom Scores 2nd Goal In Three Games

Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals downed the Boston Bruins, 2-1 Saturday afternoon at TD Garden in Boston, Mass. Nicklas Backstrom opened the scoring with a power play goal in the first period and Garnet Hathaway notched his ninth goal of the season in the middle frame for the victory.

With the win, the Capitals record improves to 28-20-6 (62 points) on the season. The Capitals now have a record of 11-4-0 in their last 15 games at TD Garden.


Darcy Kuemper (15-14-4, 2.62 GAA, .915 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Capitals. Jeremy Swayman (12-3-4, 2.34 GAA, .914 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Bruins. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals.

Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Aube-Kubel
Conor Sheary — Evgeny Kuznetsov — T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson — Nicklas Backstrom — Sonny Milano
Anthony Mantha — Lars Eller — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Martin Fehervary

Darcy Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Scratches: Alexander Alexeyev, Aliaksei Protas, Tom Wilson (lower body injury), John Carlson (upper body injury), Nic Dowd (lower body injury).


The first six minutes of the opening frame was penalty-riddled. Erik Gustafsson was called for tripping at 4:04, Brad Marchand was called for slashing and Evgeny Kuznetsov called for cross-checking at 5:20, Charlie Coyle was called for hooking at 5:24 and Hampus Lindholm was called for interference at 5:48.

As a result of the penalty parade, the Capitals were ultimately awarded a 5-on-3 man advantage, and they would capitalize with a Nicklas Backstrom (2) power tally at 6:28. Marcus Johansson (15) and Dmitry Orlov (15) had the helpers.

The Caps have now had five 5-on-3 power plays this season, totaling 3:57 in duration. They’ve scored on four of the five, with four different players (Oshie, Kuznetsov, Johansson and Backstrom) lighting the lamp.

The Capitals held the 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Statistically, it was a good period for the Capitals, who successfully reversed mini-surges by the Bruins at the 8 and 15-minute marks. The Capitals lead in 5v5 shot attempts, 17-14, scoring chances, 12-4, high-danger chances, 6-2 and xGF .85 to .54.


The Capitals stretched their lead to 2-0 on Garney Hathaway’s ninth marker of the season at 11:40. The goal was unassisted.

But the Bruins finally got on the scoreboard with a tally late in the middle frame. Nick Foligno (8) notched his eighth tally of the season at 16:34. Connor Clifton (11) and Taylor Hall (18) had the helpers.

That would be it it for the middle frame.

It was another good period for the Caps, reversing an early surge by the Bruins and then scoring. The Bruins answered late, otherwise the Capitals stood toe-to-toe with league’s best possession team. 5v5 shot attempts were tied 28-28. The Bruins stormed back in xGF, now lead 1.93 to .98.


The Capitals and Bruins skated to a scoreless draw in the final frame.

The Capitals were faced with a 6-on-4 penalty kills for the last 25 second of regulation, but were able to squash the Bruins power play for the remaining time.

The Capitals are back in action on Sunday when they return home to host the San Jose Sharks. Puck drop is set for 1PM.


  • First meeting between the two teams since opening night.
  • Nicklas Backstrom scored his second goal of the season to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead. Both of Backstrom’s goals have come on the power play and he has now scored two goals in his last three games.
  • Marcus Johansson recorded the primary assist on Backstrom’s goal, extending his point streak to four games (1g, 3a). Johansson’s nine power-play assists this season rank third on the Capitals.
  • Dmitry Orlov recorded the secondary assist on Backstrom’s goal, his 15th assist of the season. It marks Orlov’s 195th career assist, which ties him with Sylvain Cote for the eighth-most assists by a defenseman in franchise history.
  • The Caps have now had five 5-on-3 power plays this season, totaling 3:57 in duration. They’ve scored on four of the five, with four different players (Oshie, Kuznetsov, Johansson and Backstrom) lighting the lamp.
  • Garnet Hathaway was credited with the game-winning goal, his first of the season and the 11th of his career. Last season, Hathaway ranked tied for fourth on Washington with four game-winning goals.
  • Head coach Peter Laviolette coached in his 1,402nd career game today, passing Ron Wilson (1,401) for the 11th-most games coached in NHL history.


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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16 Responses to Capitals Cage Bruins In Beantown, 2-1; Nicklas Backstrom Scores 2nd Goal In Three Games

  1. Anonymous says:

    Huge 2 points! Hell they’re all huge from here on out, but that was REALLY ‘UGE

  2. Anonymous says:

    We own TD Garden. Crazy.

  3. horn73 says:

    Yeah, lets trade everyone and get picks and start the rebuild…lmao…some fans can’t enjoy things when they should be.

    • KimRB says:

      They don’t give out Cups for 2 game winning streaks in Jan/Feb, Horny

      • horn73 says:

        Kim, Teams win Cups like every 20 years tops on average. Look at Edmonton, they haven’t won since 99 was there and they had 4 players in the top 25 of all time according to the Athletic to get that done (made me think less of Gretzky actually as he did so little in LA)….only wanting to keep a team together if they are Cup favorites or even Conference Finals favorites is just unrealistic…we’d be blowing up teams every 5 years. Heck in 2018 the Caps few if any thought the Caps had a shot at the conference finals let alone a Cup. This Caps team has a lot of talent and will have a “better” roster in September. The opportunity with so many spots open is incredible. Not the time, not even close, to dismantle things.

        • KimRB says:


          The Caps first made the playoffs in 1983. In the 40 NHL seasons since then, we’ve made the playoffs 33 times. 30 times we’ve lost in the 1st or 2nd round. We’ve had ONE flipping full scale rebuild in 40 years! And of course, that got us Ovechkin, and Backstrom, and led (eventually) to us winning our Cup. I’ll take a rebuild every ten years, to win some Cups. I have patience.
          Personally I’d give up about 15 of those 33 playoffs seasons for a few more Cups. They don’t give out banners for losing in the 1st and 2nd rounds

    • Anonymous says:

      When’s the parade?

  4. KimRB says:

    Happy to be proven wrong about this one. When Darcy is on his game, he’s very tough to beat. Reminds me a lot of Godzilla, that economy of movement, a big goaltender who plays big (and not all the big ones do)

    Nice two points.

  5. Jon Sorensen says:

  6. dwgie26 says:

    Irwin only played 8ish minutes today. I saw they had Orlov and TVR as a pair and Fever-Jensen together. Did Irwin get hurt? Or just not play. Maybe we will see AA tomorrow.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What a win. Great way to start the final push.

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