It was a close game, with not much to separate the two teams - but ultimately, it was the Capitals who took Game 1 by virtue of a Nic Dowd OT goal.
To the highlights!
After Charlie McAvoy’s stick broke, the Caps took advantage and went the other way. Tom Wilson and TJ Oshie played give-and-go, with Wilson finishing top shelf to make it 1-0 Washington.
The Bruins get one back off of a face-off win, with Jake DeBrusk pouncing on a loose puck and beating Vitek Vanecek to make it a 1-1 game.
Celly szn is back for the postszn.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 15, 2021
Jake DeBrusk ties it. pic.twitter.com/T0jJVUKYb5
A friendly bounce goes Washington’s way as a point shot bounces, deflects off of Jeremy Lauzon’s stick, and goes past Tuukka Rask to make it 2-1 Capitals.
Speaking of bouncing pucks, this one hit a few different bodies and juuuuuuuuuuuuuuust trickled over the line to give Nick Ritchie a PPG and make it a 2-2 game.
David Pastrnak's shot deflects off John Carlson and Nick Ritchie.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 16, 2021
Ritchie credited with the tally.
2-2 game. pic.twitter.com/OjjJ9dBhV4
Things would stay that way until overtime, when Oshie’s point shot was deflected in front by Nic Dowd to give the Capitals a 3-2 win.
gonna watch this on repeat for a bit if y'all don't mind...— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 16, 2021
feel free to join us pic.twitter.com/7yLrxNHLqx
- This will go down as a pretty frustrating game for the Bruins. It was there for the taking, particularly after Washington’s starting goalie left the game injured. This isn’t meant as a knock on Craig Anderson, but when your opponent’s back-up-to-the-back-up (in normal circumstances, at least) goalie comes in, you should be able to make that opponent pay. There were plenty of attaboys tossed around for Anderson after the game, but frankly, the Bruins made it easy on him.
- This was the kind of tight game I think most people expected, but it’s hard to not be disappointed in the Bruins’ effort. As mentioned above, you have to do more to test the opposition goalie in this situation. Instead of tossing pucks at Anderson, the Bruins managed just 9 shots on goal in the second period and 8 in the third. Yikes.
- Bruce Cassidy was quick to call out his “top guys” after the game, saying they needed to be better. While pretty much everyone needs to be better after Game 1, he should probably focus a bit more on his third line: per Natural Stat Trick, the third line’s CF% at 5v5 was 26.32%. Charlie Coyle, Sean Kuraly, and Nick Ritchie had 5 shot attempts-for at 5v5 while allowing 14. Double yikes!
- Predictably, there were plenty of Tuukka Rask takes after the game. Predictably, the takes were pretty dumb. Not every game is a referendum on Rask’s entire career. I get the optics of the puck dribbling over the goal line, but I’m not sure what else you can do on a puck tipped 5 feet in front of you.
- Zdeno Chara should have been whistled for a delay of game (or unsportsmanlike, or whatever else) penalty on the Bruins’ power play early in the game, as he purposely pushed the net off its moorings. Anderson made a dramatic backwards fall into the cage, but it was Chara who clearly reached out and pushed the net backwards. Those are hard to call if you don’t see them, but Chara got away with one.
- For a big guy, TJ Oshie sure gets pushed around a lot...or just acts that way to try to get calls. He flopped to the ice in the first when Brandon Carlo shoved him in front of the net on the power play, then acted like Lauzon stabbed him on a light shove in the third. Good times.
- I don’t really like the new scorebug on NBC. I’m not sure what my issue is, but I’m just sharing my take.
Can’t win ‘em all, folks. Back at it on Monday evening!