Things looked good! In retrospect...almost too good.
Boston scored early, with David Backes taking a Riley Nash feed and bulleting it right past Braden Holtby. 1-0 Bruins!
And they kept scoring, with the fourth line getting together a real nice shift, and Noel Acciari getting lost in the coverage and managing to smash the puck home off of Holtby’s head/shoulders and making it 2-0 Bruins!
Boston in general completely stymied the Caps chances and gave them almost nothing to work with. This frustrated the Caps to the point that Sean Kuraly got his first NHL fight under his belt!
The second period happened.
Second Period, where it all went to hell:
I don’t know how to best describe this but...the B’s let themselves down with the effort in this period.
It started with what looked like an otherwise routine spin out to the point by Lars Eller, who found just enough space to rip the puck past the glove of Anton Khudobin. 2-1 Bruins still lead.
This created a whole new Caps, or rather...an all too familiar Caps, ones that were confident, and strong on the puck and in their passing.
It helps that they got a power play not long after this scoring play, and you’re familiar with Alex Ovechkin, right?
2-2 tie, Khudobin didn’t have a prayer.
This would significantly shift momentum to the point that a confident, fast playing Boston was suddenly timid, losing puck battles, and not connecting in passes would suddenly find themselves on the defensive for most of the period.
David Backes showing some real dad power early-ish in the third and got Boston back on top as his line competed the hell out of Washington, with Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen getting around the majority of the Capitals on the ice and giving Backes all the room in the world to score his 2nd of the game! 3-2 Bruins!
Things were going great for about 30 seconds.
And then this entire sequence happened and uh...
3-3 tie, the defense died in it’s own throat.
And so the B’s and Caps traded chance after chance, shortening the bench did nothing, and so the game went to Overtime.
[Various tones of screaming]
Boston’s third shooter was Riley Nash as compared to Alex Ovechkin. I’m sure you’re shocked to know that didn’t work, and the Capitals took a 4-3 win in Overtime.
- Your leaders in possession were: Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy, David Backes, Ryan Spooner, and Torey Krug.
- The 4th line started hot with Noel Acciari’s goal...and then the 2nd and 3rd period happened, and they began struggling mightily against a re-focused Caps team and Kuraly’s energy quickly soured into reckless decision making. They got their minutes severely reduced as a result.
- That Heinen-Nash-Backes line is really going off lately. 2 goals and among the highest players in possession for the night. They were all over Washington.
- Dobby had one of those games for an acrobatic, adventurous goalie like himself: Big, incredible saves on high-danger chances that kept the team in it...but also let in shots he absolutely should be able to have so that the other team stayed in it. Goals-Against 1 and 3 should’ve been easier saves in theory.
- Of course, it helps if your defense is able to clog up the shooting lanes, and all three pairings had at least some SNAFU or another, with special mention going to the third pairing, who just got completely mauled in front of their goaltender. Two goals scored while they were on the ice doing something other than defending the net-front, and were among the lowest in CF% among skaters.
- Torey Krug got benched at some point through the third and never saw a second of ice time at 3-on-3. His eye test wasn’t great...but again, comparatively to how Gryz and Killer played? He was merely frustrating.
- Bizarre shooter selections in the Skillz Competition strike again, as a player who had maybe one really good shot all night got the final shot. That Charlie McAvoy or Torey Krug or a myriad of other players didn’t get an opportunity is baffling in and of itself.
- Really, Boston should just be lucky they got a point out of this. Washington for whatever reason just seems to bring the worst out of the Bruins and it makes games against them a living nightmare to sit through.
The B’s get back at it against Ottawa on Saturday, at 7pm EST.