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Recap: Bruins drop final preseason game, 4-3, to Capitals in OT

The Bruins ended the preseason with a 2-1-3 record.

Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Bruins capped off their preseason with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals tonight at the TD Garden.

The Bruins ended the six games with a 2-1-3 record.

Despite outshooting the Capitals 36-30, the Bruins allowed two goals within a minute in the second period that allowed Washington to gain their first lead of the game. The B’s trailed twice during the 60 minutes, before bouncing back late in the third to force overtime.

This game was also a chance to get a better look at Linus Ullmark in net and give him another start before the regular season gets underway.

“It takes time to sort everything out and get accustomed to it,” Ullmark said. “It was a step in the right direction today.”

Ullmark made 26 saves on 30 shots in his second full game, allowing one power-play goal and three even-strength tallies. It was also his second overtime loss with a score that ended in 4-3 both contests.

Here are the period-by-period game highlights:

First period:

The Bruins took the lead at 7:28 of the first period. Brad Marchand circled up high before taking a shot in the slot. Charlie Coyle found the loose puck to put the rebound low past Vitek Vanecek’s left skate. 1-0 Bruins.

The Capitals challenged the goal, saying there was a kicking motion, but it was ruled a good goal.

Second period:

The Capitals tied the game at 6:09 of the second period. Ullmark made an initial kick-save on Alex Ovechkin’s shot from the slot, but the rebound came out to Evengy Kuznetsov for a quick shot past Ullmark. 1-1 game.

Less than a minute later the Capitals got the go-ahead goal at 7:05 of the second period. From the neutral zone, Kuznetsov found Tom Wilson entering the offensive zone for a breakaway on Ullmark. In close, Wilson switched to the backhand to beat him five-hole. 2-1 game.

The Bruins tied the game at 13:17 of the second period. Off the rush, Taylor Hall found Craig Smith’s rebound as he crashed the net for a quick backhander past Vanecek’s glove. 2-2 game.

Third period:

The Capitals took the lead at 13:29 of the third period with a power-play goal. Alex Ovechkin sent a blast from the point towards net which T.J. Oshie tipped over Ullmark’s blocker. 3-2 Capitals.

The Bruins tied the game with a late goal at 16:31 of the third period. David Pastrnak collected the puck that Erik Haula dumped into zone for a goal through Vanecek’s legs. 3-3 game.

Overtime:

Anthony Mantha netted the overtime goal for the Capitals at 1:41. On a two-on-one against Charlie McAvoy, Anthony Mantha blasted a shot past Ullmark’s stick. Final score: 4-3 Capitals.

Game notes:

  • The biggest takeaway was the chemistry between Hall, Coyle and Smith. The three were arguably the most productive line in generating offensive chances for the majority of the game and easily found the stick of one another.
  • Coyle at 2C tonight showed promise for the upcoming season. He was always around the puck and his efforts were rewarded with that first goal. Hall nearly set up another chance for him with a backhanded past to Coyle on the far post, but Vanecek got his stick on it. Coyle looked good in his first game back since surgery and strong down the middle with his positioning. Smith and Hall have speed and Coyle fed off their energy.
  • While the second line thrived, the fourth line looked like it needs some work. The trio had a hard time creating rushes. In the neutral zone, they couldn’t break up the Capitals’ rushes. They sure liked charging at the net with reckless abandon, though!
  • Both of the Bruins’ power play units had a good game. The first unit of Hall, Brad Marchand, Pastrnak and McAvoy cycled the puck well and put quality shots on net. And the PK- well Marchand and Bergeron just own the offensive zone when they are out there.
  • Ullmark is still getting his feet wet after only two full preseason coming off last season where he played 20 games for the Buffalo Sabres, with the last one on April 13. While he showed improvements with tracking, he’s going to need more reps before there’s a real sense of comfortability with him in net.
  • “On his team’s goaltending tonight, Bruce Cassidy said Ullmark needs to “tighten up” and get more reps under his belt. Ullmark said he felt today was “certainly a step in the right direction” and “felt a little more natural.” He said he felt certain he will be ready to go when the regular season gets underway in ten days.
  • Another thing that stuck out was backhanders during the game and the difference those passes and shots made throughout the game, specifically from Hall and Marchand.

The Bruins are back in action on October 16 at the TD Garden for their season opener against the Dallas Stars.