Marchand’s four-point game earned him his 700th career point.
“The big boys came to play today,” Bruce Cassidy said.
The Bruins have now extended their winning streak to four games. All but the first and last goal largely came on 5v5 play, as special teams had trouble getting anything going on their three power plays (which included a five-minute advantage), but they did manage to pop a short-handed tally in to begin the goalfest.
The B’s had something to prove against the Capitals, after a crushing defeat in their last meeting. Today’s win saw the Bruins’ leaders come though after facing two four-minute penalty kills and some big hits from the Capitals in the final frame.
“It was a good five-on-five game for us,” Cassidy said. “They [Capitals] are a good team. They are built to play a physical game. You have to play fast against them and counter their physicality.”
The Bruins’ offense put early pressure on the Capitals to start the game. The B’s top line got the puck moving and tested Vitek Vanecek in their first shift of the game and drew a penalty.
But the Capitals shut down the advantage, as Trevor van Riemsdyk came up big and blocked two chances. The power play was not it’s best, and the Caps ended up having two opportunities on the same sequence to net a shorty on Rask. But Rask came up big and blocked the attempts.
Tuukka Rask with a couple of huge shorthanded saves on Boston's first power play of the evening: pic.twitter.com/P8VbgZxval— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 18, 2021
The B’s second line also had nice offensive zone coverage in their early shifts, keeping plays alive. Craig Smith came out firing with two shots, including a backhander down the slot.
Around the nine-minute mark, Connor Clifton received his first double minor high-sticking penalty, leaving the Bruins shorthanded. But no worries. Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron do what they do best.
The Bruins opened the scoring at 12:02 of the first period with a shorthanded goal.
Brad Marchand forced a turnover by John Carlson behind the net. The loose puck came out to Patrice Bergeron skating to the top of the paint where he put a backhander over Vanecek’s blocker. 1-0 Bruins.
The shorty was Bergeron’s third of the year. It was also Marchand’s 6th shorthanded point this season.
In the middle of the second period, the Bruins were faced with a four-minute penalty kill as Connor Clifton was called for high-sticking. The PK had a rough showing, as Alex Ovechkin get some decent shots on Rask during the kill from high up left, but alas the Caps didn’t score on this set.
The Bruins took a two-goal lead at 13:56 of the first period.
The play started with a breakout pass from Taylor Hall that sent Connor Clifton up ice through the neutral zone and giving the Bruins a clean entry into the offensive zone. In the high slot, Craig Smith returned a pass to Clifton who then sent a feed to David Krejci on the far post. Krejci tapped in the puck for a low goal past Vanecek. 2-0 Bruins.
The Capitals cut into their deficit with 10 seconds remaining in the first period.
Nicklas Backstrom outskated Charlie McAvoy to get a wrist shot off on Tuukka Rask in the slot. T.J. Oshie crashed the net and picked up the rebound for a backhander top-shelf over Rask’s glove. 2-1.
The Bruins would find themselves in a sticky situation in the second period up against a very dominant Caps’ power play unit.
Clifton drew yet another four-minute, high-sticking penalty early in the second period which would cost the Bs two goals.
The Capitals cashed in on the man-advantage netting the first of their two power-play goals at 3:48 of the second period and Oshie’s second tally.
Tic-tac-toe passing from Backstrom to Evgeny Kuznetsov found Oshie in the slot for a one-timer top-shelf over Rask’s glove. 2-2 game.
The Capitals added another power-play goal on Clifton’s penalty at 4:54 of the second period. Dmitry Orlov passed to Anthony Mantha who at the top of the right face-off circle, fired a wrist shot through traffic past Rask’s blocker. 3-2 Capitals.
Momma there goes that Man(tha)! pic.twitter.com/8wAPcWu0ke— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 18, 2021
The Bruins tied the game at 6:33 of the second period.
Bergeron threw David Pastrnak a feed out front, but Marchand got his stick on it, moved to his backhand and potted the goal over Vanecek’s glove. 3-3 tie game.
Brad Marchand ties it up.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 18, 2021
22nd goal of the season for Marchand. pic.twitter.com/5RLAnMMBXt
The Bruins took the lead at 16:02 of the second period with Krejci’s second goal of the game. Craig Smith hit Krejci with a pass in the slot where he maneuvered past Orlov for a wrister over Vanecek’s glove. 4-3 Bruins.
The Bruins padded their lead at 17:45 of the second period with Bergeron’s second tally of the night.
Marchand and Pastrnak found themselves on a 2-on-1 skating into the offensive zone. With tic-tac-toe passing, Marchand moved the puck to Pastrnak who then hit Bergeron with a pass skating down the slot for a one-timer over Vanecek’s blocker. 5-3 Bruins.
The Bruins started the third period on the penalty kill, with time left over from Mike Reilly’s hooking call. A few minutes later, the team found themselves down again, after Jarred Tinordi was called for roughing. It followed a sequence where Tom Wilson hit Sean Kuraly from behind on a play that should have been called for the Caps holding Kuraly on the play.
Tom Wilson sends Sean Kuraly to the room.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 18, 2021
Tinordi is sent to the box for roughing. pic.twitter.com/PjocAZIc3L
Post-game, Cassidy called Wilson’s hit “incidental,” saying “there’s not much you can do once a guy starts tumbling down.”
The PK looked much better in the third period, with less shots getting through to Rask. Tuukka also made some great saves in the final frame to keep the cushion lead like this series of saves:
Tuukka Rask with a pair of big stops on Ovechkin and Eller. pic.twitter.com/b0xd7UBg3J— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) April 18, 2021
Hall had another impactful night and a strong third period nice. He set Curtis Lazar up with a beauty of a pass down the slot.
At 9:21 of the third period, the physicality of the game was ramped up yet again, as Garret Hathawy delivered a dangerous boarding check on Jarred Tinordi. It resulted in a five-minute major and game misconduct for Hathaway.
The Bruins’ power play couldn’t get anything going on the advantage. There was a lot of passing and not enough shooting.
Marchand netted his second goal of the night with an empty netter at 18:16 of the third period.
Pastrnak made a diving pass in the neutral zone to get Marchand the puck for the empty net goal. Final score: 6-3 Bruins.
The Bruins are back in action Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres on the road at 7 pm.