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Bruins fall to Washington 4-1 in season opener

Alex Ovechkin (2 goals) and the Washington Capitals ruined the opening night festivities for the Boston Bruins, as the Caps downed the B's 4-1 at the TD Garden.

The Capitals got on the board first at 17:15 of the first period after the Bruins went a man down for a too many men on the ice call. The Caps setup the power play and Alex Ovechkin fed a cross ice pass to Nicklas Backstrom, who then slid a pass to Brooks Laichat the doorstep. Laich got the puck and easily deposited it into the virtually empty net to send the Caps into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.

Washington increased their lead to 2-0 with 10:21 left in the middle period when the Bruins got caught in the middle of a line change. Alexander Seminleft a little drop pass to the trailer Ovechkin, who fired a shot from the slot that beat Tim Thomas for his first goal of the season. 

The Caps didn't waste much time in the third period. With Zdeno Charastill in the box for a poorly-timed cross-checking penalty with 2 seconds remaining in the second period, Brooks Laich got his second goal of the game when a Nicklas Backstrom shot trickled underneath Tim Thomas and Laich poked it the net just 16 seconds in the third period. Washington would add another marker just a minute and forty seconds later when Tom Potisent a centering pass from the right corner into the slot for Alex Ovechkin, who recorded his second goal of the night. 

Patrice Bergeronfinally got the Bruins on the scoresheet with 12:04 left in the third period when he broke in all alone and beat Jose Theodorewith some nifty stickhandling.

The late goal by Bergeron seemed to energerize the B's, but it was a little late. Shortly after the Bergeron goal, Shawn Thornton and John Erskineexchanged haymakers after Thornton took exception to a hit from Erskine and let him know about with a slash and an invitation to dance.

Final - 10.1.2009 1 2 3 OT Total
Washington Capitals 1 1 2 0 4
Boston Bruins 0 0 1 0 1

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- Special teams play was a big factor in tonight's game. The Caps went 2 for 4 on the power play, while the B's couldn't get anything going in 5 opportunities.

- The Bruins really struggled in the faceoff circle, winng just 19 of 49 draws (39%). Marc Savard was a dismal 3 for 11 at the dot (21%).

- One bright spot tonight was the play of Patrice Bergeron. Besides scoring the B's lone goal, Bergeron seemed to be playing with a confidence that was missing for much of last season.

- I also liked what I saw out of the fourth line tonight. They were constantly putting pressure on the puck with a solid forecheck.

- A major turning point in tonight's game was the retaliatory penalty that Zdeno Chara took with 2 seconds left in the second. That's a dumb penalty to take in that situation and it led to the nail in the coffin goal.

- The Bruins need to get more shots (20 shots tonight) to the net and create some more traffic in front.

- Alex Ovechkin attempted 14 shots (5 shots, 8 blocked, 1 missed), while the entire Bruins roster only attempted 47 (20 shots, 13 blocked, 14 missed).

- Tim Thomas made 30 saves in the loss. Thomas was hung out to dry at times, but also gave up some bad rebounds.

Next Game: Saturday vs. Carolina