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Preview: Bruins look to cushion series’ lead against Capitals in Game 4

There’s no doubt it will be another close one tonight, but the Bruins have a chance to take a commanding series’ lead over the Capitals if they play their game.

Boston Bruins vs Washington Capitals Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 6:30 PM

Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, NBCSN, TVAS, SN360, SNE, SNO, SNP, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Japers Rink

Know your enemy

  • Playoffs: T.J. Oshie: 3GP, 1G, 2A, 3PTS; Garnet Hathaway: 3GP, 2G, 1A, 3PTS; Alex Ovechkin: 3GP, 1G, 2A, 3PTS
  • Craig Anderson: 1-1-0, 2.67 GAA, .929 save percentage
  • Ilya Samsonov: 0-1-0, 2.10 GAA, .930 save percentage
  • Regular season leaders: Nicklas Backstrom: 15G, 38A, 53PTS; John Carlson: 10G, 34A, 44PTS; T.J. Oshie: 22G, 21A, 43PTS; Alex Ovechkin: 24G, 18A, 42PTS

Game notes

  • The Boston Bruins will face the Washington Capitals tonight for Game 4 with a little cushion room. Craig Smith notched the double overtime game-winner on Wednesday to give the Bruins a 2-1 series’ lead. The Bruins came from behind twice and held on to the tie to send Game 3 to overtime. Much like the series, the game could have gone to the Capitals. The series has been back and forth with who’s dominating and the Bruins could easily be in a three-game hole right now or up three games to none.
  • With all three games headed to overtime, and Wednesday’s seeing some double OT action, it’s safe to say the probability of extra hockey is likely. All overtime and 2OT goals were scored within both teams’ second shots of the extra minutes. Nic Dowd scored Game 1’s winner on the Caps’ second shot. Brad Marchand netted Game 2’s on the first shot and Craig Smith potted Game 3’s 2OT goal on the Bruins’ second shot of the fifth frame.
  • The Bruins have faired well with puck possession in overtime during the series. The B’s spent the majority of Wednesday’s first overtime in the offensive zone. They outshot Washington 17-5 in that frame for their highest shot differential in a period in those first three games.
  • Say what you will about No. 40, but Tuukka Rask came up big on Wednesday. He made 35 saves in the outing as the Capitals kept pressure on him in the second and third periods. Rask is now tied with Gerry Cheevers for most playoff wins for a Bruins’ goaltender at 53 wins. In these past three games, he has made 100 saves on 108 shots.
  • Nine Bruins have at least two or more points in the series. Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand now have a goal in each of the last two games. It’s been a disappointing start for David Pastrnak who has been quiet this postseason and has only registered two assists. He leads the team with 19 shots on net this postseason. Pastrnak had some strong scoring chances last game, especially in overtime, but overall hasn’t finished and that’s frustrating.
  • It’s a toss-up who the Capitals will start in net tonight. Samsonov had a good game up until his blunder in 2OT. The Capitals could go back to Anderson, as he was out of the net Wednesday for “body maintenance.” Anderson has made 65 saves on 70 shots in the first two games. Samsonov had 40 saves with three goals against in Game 3. We’ll likely have to wait to find out until warm-ups who the Caps will choose.

See ya tonight!