The Boston Bruins went up against an old nemesis in Braden Holtby, and as usual they ended up on the losing side. Coming into tonight's contest the Capitals netminder was 12-2-0 in 14 career appearances against the Bruins with a outstanding .944 save percentage and sub 2.00 goals against average. He would once again stifle the Bruins as the Capitals got timely saves and goals en route to a 5-3 victory, snapping the Bruins three game winning streak.
The Bruins were on their heels to start as the Capitals jumped on them quickly establishing 30 seconds of zone time to open the period. Shortly after Lars Ellers seemed to have gotten the games first goal off a rebound in front, fortunately for the Bruins it was deemed off sides after a coaches challenge keeping the score 0-0.
The lone goal of the period would belong to the Caps as Jakub Vrana was able to get inside postion on Bruins defenseman Matt Gryzlyk and snapped a beautiful shot over the blocker of Khudobin for his 10th of the season, giving Washington a 1-0 lead at the 17:34 mark of the first.
This period was all Boston. The Bruins were relentless in and around the net outshooting the Capitals 13-3 in the middle frame. The Bruins power-play would come through for them as Brad Marchand's 400th career NHL point set up Patrice Bergeron in the slot for the score. For Bergeron, it was his 6th goal of the season, and was the 265th goal of his career pushing him past the legendary Bobby Orr for 8th on the all time Bruins scoring leaders.
The power-play finally bore fruit for the Caps as Nicklas Backstrom tucked home his 6th of the season off a perfect pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov to give Washington a 2-1 lead.
Heading into the third period trailing by just one was an encouraging sign, as was outshooting the Caps 24-16 unfortunately for the Bruins Braden Holtby continued to be their kryptonite.
The B's would pepper Holtby, outshooting the Capitals 13-6 in the final frame and a combined 26-9 over 40 minutes. The Bruins generated good offense, firing shots from all areas of the attacking zone and getting bodies and sticks in lanes but nothing was getting past the "Holtbeast"
With the loss the Bruins fall to 15-10-4, the Capitals improve to 20-12-1 and remain redhot.The Bruins were once again on the losing side against Washington despite firing 37 shots and scoring three times. Holtby was his usual stellar self against the Bruins but, the black and gold also hit three posts in the game.
The Bruins remain at home as they will take on the Rangers on Saturday, December 16th at 5:00
The Capitals will return home briefly before heading out on a four game road trip. They will take on the Ducks on Saturday, December 16th at 8:00
The Bruins out shot the Capitals 37-22. Braden Holtby improves to 18-7-0 on the year (13-2 life time versus the Bruins)
The Bruins have lost 11 in a row to the Capitals and haven't beaten Washington since March 29th, 2014
After winning four consecutive games Anton Khudobin has lost his last two starts giving up eight goals on 35 shots (.771 save percentage)
David Pastrnak's point streak refuses to die. The Czech winger picked up the primary assist on Bergeron's second goal of the game. Pasta's point streak now sits at 10 games, in that duration he's scored five goals and seven assists for a grand total of 12 points.