The Bruins entered Thursday night's action riding a season-high five-game winning streak after a 4-0 win Tuesday at home against Minnesota. The Washington Capitals traveled to Boston atop the Metropolitan division with 56 points, looking to extend their lead on the second place Pittsburgh Penguins who sat idle at 54 points coming into the evening.
It wouldn't take long for the Capitals to tally the first goal of the night 6:38 in. T.J. Oshie hit Jakub Vrana with a stretch pass through the neutral zone, behind the Bruins' defensive pairing of John Moore and Torey Krug, where he would go down and beat goaltender Jaroslav Halak with a shot low blocker-side.
Boston would attempt to tie the game on an ensuing power play, the result of a Michal Kempny tripping call. Despite the leg up, even the B's top PP unit couldn't crack the armor of Capitals netminder Braden Holtby. Even with a couple more close calls at even strength, Boston was kept off the scoreboard through the first 20 minutes.
Looking to Tie
The Bruins would finally pull even when Ryan Donato took a pass from Krug in the right circle, wiring a wrist shot under the glove of Holtby 14:11 into the second period.
The tie wouldn't stand for long as Alex Ovechkin and company would come right back down the ice to regain the lead. Ovechkin took a pass from Tom Wilson from below the goal line only to fire a wicked shot top shelf on Halak, giving his team the lead once again only 39 seconds after the Donato goal.
More of the Same
Boston would start the third period on the power play, the result of a Brett Connolly holding call late in the second period. The B's would fail to convert again on the man-advantage, but when the Capitals took a too-many-men penalty 3:58 into the third, the penalty kill wouldn't treat them as nicely.
Just 39 seconds into the power play David Krejci took a pass from Danton Heinen at the top of the right circle, blasting a shot past a screened Holtby.
However, Washington would answer back again with another quick goal, this time off the stick of long-time Capital Nicklas Backstrom. Backstrom came down 2-on-1, electing to shoot the puck, beating Halak with a clean shot from the left circle. This goal came 1:09 after the Krejci PPG.
The go-ahead goal from Backstrom seemed to tilt momentum in favor of the Capitals midway through the third period, forcing Halak to make big saves on fast passing plays to keep the game within reach for the Bruins. Nic Dowd would even hit the post on a breakaway chance, coming within inches of giving his team a two-goal lead.
Eventually Ovechkin would put the final nail in the Bruins' coffin with Halak on the bench and the net empty for an extra attacker. The Capitals' Captain would fire a puck from his own zone at the empty cage, sinking the shot with 1:35 left in the period.
Final Score: Boston 2 - Washington 4. Boston outshot Washington 41-22, despite the Capitals moving on to beat the Bruins for the 14th-straight meeting between the two clubs.
The Bruins head to Toronto Saturday to face off against the Maple Leafs for the fourth time this season. The teams met last on December 8th, a 6-3 win for the Black and Gold. Puck drop for Saturday's game is set for 7pm EST.
Photo: (NHL Bruins via Twitter)