Washington visited the TD Garden Saturday night coming off a tightly-contested 4-3 victory against the New York Islanders Thursday night. The Capitals received goals from Lars Eller (two on the night), Alex Chiasson and Taylor Chorney in their game against New York, with names like Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Nick Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov all noticeably absent from the scoresheet. Boston found a way to take two points out of their Thursday game against the Vegas Golden Knights, after falling two straight games in extra time to the Columbus Blue Jackets and LA Kings. They hoped to continue their winning ways against Ovi and company.
Tom Wilson opened the scoring 7:01 into the period, ending a 12-game scoreless drought in effect since April 4th of last season, with a bad-angle shot resulting from a puck that slid out of a scrum of players at the bottom of the left circle.
Washington led 2-0 after 20 minutes, outshooting Boston 8-7.
Just 3:37 into the second frame, Torey Krug moved a pass forward to Patrice Bergeron in the Washington end, who found David Pastrnak in front of the net to cut the lead to 2-1.
Despite their efforts, the Capitals would return the lead back to two goals with 1:10 left in the period when Wilson tipped a Brooks Orpik point shot from the hashmarks, top shelf on Rask, for his second of the night.
Washington outshot Boston 13-12, also taking the advantage in the faceoff dot with 51.3% of draws after two periods.
Orpik took a double-minor high-sticking penalty on David Pastrnak 46 seconds into the period. The Bruins failed to convert on four minutes of power play. While Boston played much of the third period in Washington’s end, scoring chances directly around the Capitals’ net were hard to come by.
It took two more Washington penalties for the Bruins to convert with 2:32 left in the period. Off a Tom Wilson tripping call, David Pastrnak made the score 3-2 on a goal-line shot that beat Braden Holtby who was caught cheating off his right post.
Final Score: Washington 3 / Boston 2
The Bruins outshot the Capitals in the period 14-6, outshooting Washington overall in the game 33-27. Boston took the advantage in faceoffs with 51.7% through 60 minutes.
Next Game: Monday vs. Minnesota at 7pm EST
Boston was unable to overcome another poor first period start. Despite playing noticeably better in the second and third periods, it was not enough to beat a solid Braden Holtby.
Holtby himself has had an unimpressive start to the season, not even among the top 15 goaltenders in GAA (2.70) and save percentage (9.21), despite finishing in the top-four in both of these categories at the end of last season. However, after giving up five goals to the Vancouver Canucks on October 26, his last three starts have been impressive, posting save percentages of (.950), (.921) and (.939) in wins against Edmonton, the New York Islanders and Boston.
David Pastrnak had both of the Bruins’ goals and got under the Capitals’ skin in the later half of the game when he laid a hit on T.J. Oshie towards the end of the second period. The Washington bench seemed to take exception to the play and it appeared that the Brooks Orpik double-minor to start the third period seemed to be in retaliation to the earlier hit.
Tuukka Rask played a solid game in net and the score would have likely never been close if it had not been for multiple breakaway saves, including this one on Alex Ovechkin in the first period.