Caps Remain on the Outside Looking In, Fall to BruinsPosted on March 29, 2014 by Brad Herson
Washington was coming off a 6 game point streak and in need
of much more as they welcomed the red hot Boston Bruins to the Phonebooth. From
the start, Boston gained control and did a good job of keeping the Capitals out
of their zone and seemed nested in Washington’s. The Capitals defense looked
problematic as Braden Holtby kept the game scoreless with huge saves, no thanks
to the rest of the squad. While Washington did a good job of blocking shots,
the Bruins dominated the first period despite the scoreboard. 0-0 end of 1.
At 2:48 in the second period, Jerome Iginla put Boston on the board first with his 29th of the season off of an assist of Carl Soderberg. Caps broke down as Karl Alzner missed puck and John Carlson couldn’t get to the puck. Over five minutes into the period, the Caps only had 11 shots on the Boston net, five on even strength and six on the power play. Eric Fehr would be called for hooking, which led to a Bruins power play goal by Soderberg(15) at 7:35 into the period. Moments later, Iginla scored his second goal of the game (30) to put Boston at 3. Just as the Caps were going into the 2nd intermission scoreless, Jason Chimera (14) put Washington on the board with 10 second remaining. 3-1 Boston end of 2. This seemed to be a momentum changer in favor of the Capitals.
As the third period went underway, Washington looked to have turned the corner. Finally being able to keep the puck in the Bruins zone and creating opportunities around the net. The third line of Chimera-Fehr-Joel Ward took control and was able to put pressure on the Boston defense. Missed opportunities hindered the Caps throughout the third period. Just as Washington looked to have all of the momentum, Captain Alex Ovechkin was called for a questionable charging call against Loui Ericksson. This lead to a Boston power play goal by Patrice Bergeron to put the Bruins up 4-1 with just over 6 minutes in regulation. Head coach Adam Oates explained that he felt the call was “terrible.” At 19:05, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his second NHL career goal to make it 4-2. However, it was too late as Boston ended the Capitals 6 game point streak.
Oates on the last 30 minutes of play, “the ended up getting a goal in the second period, which obviously gave us life. But the last five minutes of the second period, we had like three grade-A chances. It was like the recipe that you’re supposed to do all of a sudden showed up and the rest of the game was solid.” Holtby was well aware of the Bruins ability to crowd around the net. He explained, “more than normal for most teams, but not for the Bruins. They always play like that. They get a lot of their goals like that.” He then discussed losing an important game like this, “Obviously, it’s frustrating. It would have been a huge win for us. But you have to give the Bruins credit. They’re first in the East for a reason. It was one of those games.”
While the Capitals gained momentum towards the end as the result of better play, it was also due to Boston playing more relaxed hockey with their 3-1 lead. Washington, now 34-28-12 with 80 points, need 12 of 16 points to finish the season for a shot another post season berth and can only lose one more game in regulation. The Caps next matchup is tomorrow, 3/30, on the road against the Nashville Predators.
-Bruins 14th win in 15 games, clinch Atlantic Division title
-Capitals goal scorers: Jason Chimera (14), Evgeny Kuznetsov (2)
-Caps need 12 of 16 points the rest of the way
-Caps PP: 0/3 Bruins: 2/4
-Ovechkin led team with 5 shots, but held without an even strength goal for the 14th consecutive game
Capitals Player of the Game: Braden Holtby
-SA: 36 S%: .889
-Stopped 32 of 36 shots
-Played in his 100th career NHL game
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