The Boston Bruins played from behind twice tonight, but managed to battle back to force extra time and eventually took Game 3, 3-2, against the Washington Capitals tonight at the TD Garden.
The Bruins now lead the series 2-1.
It only took 85:48 minutes for the Bruins, but Craig Smith gave the Bruins the game-winner and the Bruins first lead of the game. On the night, Smith had four shots on goal.
This series has gone to overtime in each game, but tonight was the first time it needed to be settled in double overtime.
On the game, the Bruins outshot the Capitals, 43-37. Twenty minutes of this game was played at either 5v4 or 5v3.
The first period was defined by power plays and penalty kills for both sides. Less than half the period saw 5v5 play, as the Bruins and Capitals had three penalties each.
The Bruins’ first power play got off to a strong start, even though there was nothing to show for it.
Patrice Bergeron and Nick Ritchie had chances in the slot and on top of the paint, but Ilya Samsonov was the Caps’ best penalty killer throughout the period and came up big for his team.
But when the Bruins should have had the advantage in a 5-on-3 situation, they couldn’t get anything going.
David Krejci and Bergeron were clicking to begin the 5-on-3 power play and create a great opportunity, but again, Samsonov extended his leg and made a big save.
Mike Reilly had one of the better chances for the Bruins in the first frame on 5v5 as he tried a backhanded wrap-around, but T.J. Oshie stepped in as goalie and made the save on his attempt.
The Bruins outshot the Capitals 10-4 to end the scoreless period. Bergeron led with four shots on net.
The Capitals started the second period on the attack, outshooting the Bruins through the first several minutes.
The Bruins had some more undisciplined moments and it came back to haunt them in the middle 20 minutes.
Brad Marchand took an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and it was only a matter of time before Alex Ovechkin would pot one on the man-advantage. Ovechkin had been active all night. and he cashed in on a can’t-miss chance.
Anthony Mantha took the puck away from Charlie McAvoy and found Ovechkin skating into slot for a quick one-timer over Tuukka Rask’s glove. 1-0 Capitals.
THAT'S OUR CAPTAIN! pic.twitter.com/ng5eHrH7Tz— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 19, 2021
The Bruins didn’t waste must time, tying the game at 9:17 of the second period.
Craig Smith backhanded a pass to Taylor Hall, who pirouetted across the top of the paint to get the puck on his forehand and roof a goal top-shelf over Samsonov. 1-1 tie game.
Simply outrageous.#NHLBruins | @hallsy09 pic.twitter.com/o58BKNJMEN— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 19, 2021
Rask had some fun in his crease with Garnet Hathaway during the second period, throwing some nice punches.
Hey, that’s why you don’t come into the crease.
Tuukka Rask - not a fan of Garnet Hathaway: pic.twitter.com/ftJldo5yoi— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 20, 2021
However, Washington struck again in the second, not long after the Bruins killed off their second penalty of the period.
Hathaway stole the puck at the blue line and found Nic Dowd in the slot, where he got his stick on the puck to tap it past Rask glove side. 2-1 Capitals.
You simply cannot find a hotter line pic.twitter.com/69lYpPkSFG— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 20, 2021
Shots were 16-11 in favor of the Capitals for the period as Washington ramped up their offense and capitalized on the power play.
The third period had a similar theme throughout – difficulty clearing the defensive zone.
The Bruins spent most of their time playing defense and struggled to get the puck any further than their blue line as the Capitals kept pressing.
The Bruins had another power-play opportunity at 3:24 of the third period, but like the previous man-advantages, they struggled getting shots on Samsonov.
Things were looking pretty bleak, but then came their fifth 5v4 chance of the game, and they finally cashed in.
After missing a chance in the crease moments before, Brad Marchand kept at it to give the Bruins a fighting chance.
After a nice passing sequence involving pretty much the entire line, Bergeron found Marchand at the doorstep, where he batted the puck past Samsonov. 2-2 tie game.
63 with the equalizer.#NHLBruins | @Bmarch63 pic.twitter.com/65jJXTk5mH— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 20, 2021
The Bruins had a rough go at it to keep the game tied, as they struggled mightily getting the puck out of the defensive zone after the goal. The Capitals limited the Bruins to three shots in the third.
However, a few hit posts later, the Bruins somehow managed to get the game to overtime.
The Bruins dominated the first overtime, outshooting the Capitals 17-5.
However, with the chances the Capitals got, they moved the puck around enough that you didn’t feel 100% confident that the Bruins were doing enough in the defensive zone, despite all their offensive pressure in the period.
Needless to say, it was a tense 20 minutes.
Still, there were no goals, and for the first time in the series, the game went to DOUBLE OVERTIME.
In the second OT, the Bruins came out strong again, firing away at Samsonov.
David Pastrnak had a great chance on a mini breakaway, but a stick to the hands went uncalled and the chance wasn’t converted.
Ultimately, the Bruins stuck with it and picked up a loose puck to put the game away.
The Bruins netted the game-winning goal at 5:48 of double overtime.
Samsonov left the puck for Justin Schultz but Smith beat him to it, wrapping the puck around and sliding a low goal past Samsonov’s skate for the double OT game-winner. Final score: 3-2 Bruins.
Smitty to the rescue. ♂️ #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/Bd6ZbyQRj8— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 20, 2021
The Bruins are back for Game 4 against the Capitals on Friday at 6:30 pm at the TD Garden.