The Bruins netted three power-play goals and registered the first multi-goal lead of the series in the victory.
“Special teams speak for themselves,” Bruce Cassidy said. “Had some big blocks on [Alex] Ovechkin. On five-on-five, we protected the neutral zone well against a good transitional team.”
Charlie McAvoy recorded three points, all on the power play, as the Bruins’ special teams came out in full force. David Pastrnak also had a two-point night and broke through with his first post-season goal.
The game’s officiating was questionable with what was considered a punishable offense and what wasn’t, but the Bruins battled through the miscalls and capitalized on the calls that did go their way.
The first period was controlled by the Bruins in each zone. That strong play started from the opening face-off, with David Krejci’s line buzzing right away, testing Ilya Samsonov and having good offensive zone puck movement.
The Bruins’ penalty kill was tested twice early as well. For the second game in a row, the Bruins were called for too many men on the ice and went on the kill 49 seconds into the period first.
About five minutes later, they found themselves shorthanded again, but both times, the PK looked good and limited the Capitals’ opportunities.
The PK took away shooting lanes and came up big by forcing play to the outside and blocking shots.
Curtis Lazar had a big block on a shot by Ovechkin, and the Bruins took their opportunities to clear the puck; plus, Brad Marchand was able to get a shorthanded chance on Samsonov as well.
Overall, the Bruins brought high energy during the first 20 minutes, and puck possession was largely in their favor. The B’s were faster to the puck and better on the forecheck.
Despite outshooting the Capitals 11-4, the game was scoreless after one period.
The second period was spirited, to say the least, as the physicality ramped up. During the frame, the Bruins had three power plays and two penalty kills.
The Bruins couldn’t get anything done to start the period on the power play, but managed to keep up the offensive pressure.
On the other end, the post got some more action, as Tom Wilson clanked one off the cross-bar.
The period took a turn shortly after the seven-minute mark, when Dmitry Orlov hit Kevan Miller up high, with his feet leaving the ice in the process.
The dangerous play was assessed a double minor, and Miller didn’t return.
Dmitry Orlov with a dangerous hit on Kevan Miller. pic.twitter.com/UFxCQi2KrW— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 21, 2021
The Bruins ended up with a two-minute power play, as Charlie Coyle was assessed a minor in the ensuing scrum.
The Bruins responded by taking the lead. David Pastrnak sent a wrist shot toward the net, where Marchand got his stick on it and redirected it past Samsonov. 1-0 Bruins.
The Bruins had another power play that came up empty, and then the PK had a huge kill at the end of the period to keep it a 1-0 game.
On that kill, Brandon Carlo made an important block on Ovechkin to prevent the puck from getting through to the net.
Shots were 23-13 in favor of the Bruins through the two periods.
The Bruins started the third period on the power play, and didn’t waste any time capitalizing on the man-advantage.
Charlie McAvoy found Pastrnak skating into the right face-off circle ,where he let a wrist shot fly over Samsonov’s blocker. 2-0 Bruins.
That goal would give the Bruins their first multi-goal lead of the series, but they weren’t done.
The Bruins extended their lead moments later. Jake DeBrusk missed the net with his chance, but the puck deflected off DeBrusk right to Charlie Coyle, who had a tap-in past Samsonov. 3-0 Bruins.
The Capitals cut into their deficit at 4:54 of the third period on the power play, getting some help from the Bruins to get on the scoresheet.
Ovechkin fired a blast on net from the left circle, with the puck hitting Brandon Carlo and deflecting past Tuukka Rask. 3-1 Bruins.
While the Capitals had a decent push after that goal, the B’s special teams continued to dominate the Caps and took back the little momentum Washington had gained.
The Bruins regained their three-goal lead when McAvoy found Matt Grzelyck inside the right circle for a one-timer past Samsonov’s glove. 4-1 Bruins.
That’d be it!
The B’s outshot the Caps 37-20 on the night and held off the Caps during six out of their seven penalty kills, all while cashing in on 60% of their power play chances.
The Bruins head to Washington, DC for Game 5 on Sunday at 7 PM with the chance to close out the series.
Enjoy your weekend!