Monday, May 17, 2021

Washington Capitals vs. Boston Bruins -- East Division Semi-Final Game 2: Bruins 4 - Capitals 3 (OT)

The Washington Capitals hosted the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of their opening round playoff matchup on Monday night.  The Caps were looking to hold serve with a second straight win on home ice, while the Bruins were anxious to gain a split in Washington before heading back to Boston for Games 3 and 4.  Boston scored late in regulation to tie the game, and then they scored less than a minute into overtime to take a 4-3 decision and send the teams to Boston tied at a game apiece.

First Period

Boston opened the scoring 5:05 into the game when Charlie Coyle got a step on a Capital defender, carried the puck around the back of the net, and fed Jake DeBrusk at the top of the blue paint, where DeBrusk slam dunked the puck off the skate of defenseman Justin Schultz and in to make it 1-0 for the visitors.

David Pastrnak took a holding penalty 6:19 into the period, and the Caps converted just 12 seconds later.  Alex Ovechkin settled a pass from John Carlson his skate, and from his office in the left wing circle snapped a shot that T.J. Oshie deflected with the end of his stick blade past goalie Tuukka Rask, and it was 1-1.

Boston regained the lead when Pastrnak gloved down an attempted aerial clear by Dmitry Orlov and fed Patrice Bergeron, who ripped a shot from between the tops of the circles over the glove of goalie Craig Anderson and under the crossbar to make it 2-1, B’s, 9:21 into the period.

The Bruins got their first power play of the game 12:46 into the period when Nic Dowd went off for roughing.  Boston failed to convert after Brad Marchand negated the advantage by taking a roughing call at the 13:54 mark, and it gave the Caps a chance to tie the game once more.  Garnet Hathaway was credited with a goal that pinballed off several players

-- The Caps had eight of the first nine shots of the game, but Boston outshot the Caps over the remainder of the period, 17-10, the teams finishing the period with 18 shots on goal apiece.  Boston out-attempted the Caps, 29-27, over the first 20 minutes.

-- The Caps were credited with 18 hits in the period, four of them by Tom Wilson to lead the team.

-- Boston won the battle in the circle in the first period, winning 15 of23 draws. Lars Eller was the only Capital taking more than one faceoff and finishing over 50 percent (5-for-9/55.6 percent).  T.J. Oshie was 0-for-6.

-- Only three Caps did not have a shot attempt in the period: Justin Schultz, Zdeno Chara, and Nicklas Backstrom.  Daniel Sprong led the Caps with three shots on goal.

Second Period

Boston got its second power play of the game when John Carlson was sent off for tripping at 6:22 of the period.  The Bruins did not convert, and the teams played on, still tied at 2-2.  The teams were hit with coincidental minors 13:31 into the period when Connor Clifton went off for interference, and Tom Wilson going to the box for embellishment. And then, Brad Marchand and Anthony Mantha were penalized for slashing and high-sticking, respectively, at 14:11 of the period, keeping the teams at even, if reduced manpower.  A third coincidental set of penalties was called at 16:54 when Nick Jensen for the Caps and Craig Smith for Boston went off for minor roughing calls.

Despite all the hijinks, the teams went to the second intermission as they came out of the first, tied 2-2.

-- Lars Eller did not play the last 9:26 of the period, leaving with an apparent injury.

-- Boston outshot the Caps, 15-9 in the period and out-attempted them, 29-14.

-- The Caps out-hit the Bruins, 28-19, through two period, Tom Wilson leading the team with five.

Third Period

Washington went to the man advantage just 2:05 into the period when Nick Ritchie was sent off for roughing, the seventh roughing call for the teams in this game.  Washington did not convert, but they went right back on the power play when Taylor Hall was called for tripping a the 4:53 mark.

The Caps did not convert on the extra chance, but the Caps took the lead shortly after the power play expired, Garnet Hathaway getting his second goal of the evening.  Taking a pass from Dmitry Orlov from the top of the left wing circle, Hathaway had a clear shooting lane and snapped a shot from the right wing hash mark over the glove of Rask at 7:04 to give the Caps their first lead of the evening, 3-2.

Boston tied the game late, Taylor Hall whacking a loose puck just off Anderson’s left pad at the edge of the crease to make it a 3-3 game.  It would be the last scoring in regulation as, for the second time in this series, the teams went to…


Boston made sho9rt work of overtime, scoring the game winner 39 seconds into the extra frame, Brad Marchand taking advantage of a failed Washington clear out of its end to take a cross-ice pass from Matt Grzelcyk and one-timing it past Anderson on the short side to even the series at a game apiece.

Other stuff…

-- Garnet Hathaway’s first period goal was his first career playoff goal and first career playoff point in his 16th career playoff game.  When he scored later in the contest, it was his first two-goal game of the season and second as a Capital, regular season and playoffs (December 3, 2019, in a 5-2 win over San Jose).

-- This was the 11th consecutive time that a Washington-Boston playoff game was decided by a single goal, dating back to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal on May 3, 1998.  This was the seventh of those games to go to overtime, the Caps holding a 4-3 record in those extra game contests and 7-4 overall in the 11 one-goal games.

-- Boston outshot the Caps, 48-39, and out-attempted them, 89-63.

-- Anthony Mantha led the Caps with seven shots on goal and tied Alex Ovechkin with eight shot attempts.

-- Boston enjoyed a 41-24 edge in faceoff wins; no Capital finished over 50 percent for the game.

-- Dmitry Orlov had a pair of assists, his second career two-assist game in the postseason (April 21, 2018, in a 4-3 Game 5 win over Columbus in the Eastern Conference first round.

-- Lars Eller did not return after going out with an injury mid-way through the second period.

-- John Carlson led the team with 24:52 in ice time; Daniel Sprong was at the other end with 8:48.

-- The Caps were credited with 36 hits to 30 for Boston, Tom Wilson leading the team with six.

-- Nick Jensen led the team with three blocked shots and added four hits for good measure.

In the end…

An opportunity lost.  Holding a lead with under three minutes in regulation, the Caps played a bit too passive for their own good on defense.  But as we constantly remind folks, it is “best to four,” not “best to one.”  But now the series goes to Boston, where the Caps have won six of their last seven playoff games, five of them in extra time.  They will now have to add to that total to reclaim the home ice advantage.


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