The Bruins were looking to play better out of the gate in Washington the second time around. It did not start well for the Bruins in the nation's capital though as they fell behind early.
Just over three minutes into the period, the Capitals struck first. Brad Marchand was looking to create offense on the rush. His pass was intercepted by Nicklas Backstrom at the top of the circles. TJ Oshie was able to get behind the defense as Backstrom fed him with a nice saucer pass on a breakaway. Oshie walked in all alone and was able to beat Tuukka Rask five hole for the 1-0 lead.
The Bruins were able to limit most of the Capitals chances after the first goal even though they were not play their best. Washington was using their speed game on the Bruins, but Bruins were playing really well structured defense until the Caps were able to strike again.
The top line for Washington was cycling and controlling the puck well in the Bruins zone. The Bruins defenders were running around and were just covering space. Oshie was able to find Matt Niskanen at the point. Niskanen drive was turned aside by the Rask’s pad, but puck went right to Backstrom in the slot. Backstrom wasted no time depositing it into the open net for the 2-0 lead.
It looked like the Bruins were going to head into the first intermission down by two goals. Luckily for the Bruins they were able to draw a powerplay late in the first period. Brett Connolly went to the box for interference on Riley Nash. Nash was looking for a breakout pass, but Connolly cleaned him out for the two minute minor. Matt Beleskey went over and exchanged some words with Connolly, but the refs stood between them.
The Bruins were able to make Connolly and the Caps pay as Marchand got the Bruins on the board. On the quick rush into the Caps zone, David Pastrnak was able to find Patrice Bergeron streaking into the zone. Bergeron found Marchand in the slot. Marchand was able to roof it over the blocker of Braden Holtby to cut the lead to one. This goal gave the Bruins momentum heading into the second period.
Early on in the second period, the Bruins came out ready and had offensive zone time to start. By doing this, the Bruins were able to draw their second powerplay of the game as Evgeny Kuznetsov went to the box for tripping against David Krejci. Once again the Bruins powerplay made them pay.
The first powerplay unit used a great entry into the zone to set up shot. After a Pastrnak one time opportunity went wide, the Bruins used a pretty tic tac toe passing play. Every player touched the puck as Torey Krug gave it to Bergeron in the bumper position. Bergeron gave it Pastrnak, who found Ryan Spooner wide open backdoor. Spooner attacked the net and found Marchand wide open out front for the easy tap in to tie it at two.
The Bruins then gave Washington an opportunity to take the lead as they were called for their first penalty of the game. Marchand swung his stick behind his back and tripped up Backstrom. The Bruins second ranked penalty kill did an excellent job of killing it off. On the kill the Bruins did not let Washington get a shot on net during the whole two minutes.
After the game was tied, both teams were playing really good defensively and really limiting offensive opportunities. That was until the Bruins took another penalty with under two minutes in the second period. Brandon Carlo was called for holding and the Bruins would be shorthanded the rest of the second period and into the third unless the Capitals scored.
The Caps made the Bruins pay as this powerplay was much better than the first for them. The Bruins did have a chance to clear the puck, but Dominic Moore tried to pass the puck instead of icing it and it was picked off in the slot. The turnover allowed the Caps to set up the offense. Backstrom got his third point of the game and Niskanen got his second on the set up. Alex Ovechkin was able to get the goal as he fired a wrist shot through the legs of Adam McQuaid and past Rask for the 3-2 lead. Capitals goal came with just 15 seconds left in the period and the Bruins would head to the third trailing.
With the Bruins trailing in the third period, they did not start the period well. Just over a minute and a half into the third, Carlo got his second penalty of the game. This proved to be costly again as the Capitals were able to take advantage of it. Even though they did not score on the powerplay, it gave them momentum and offensive pressure to score as the penalty expired.
On the rush right after the penalty expired, it took just seven seconds to score. Kuznetsov came through the Bruins zone with speed and dished it off to Dmitry Orlov. Orlov found Connolly going hard to the net. Connolly was able to deke to his backhand and put it into the open net for the 4-2 lead.
That wasn’t the only bad news for the Bruins as it looked like they were going to lose one of their best players to injury. On the penalty kill, Niskanen one timer went right off of Bergeron’s knee. Bergeron was down on the ice and needed help to get off the ice. He went right down the tunnel and into the Bruins locker room. Bergeron came back to the bench and on the ice, but was limited.
The Capitals were able to extend their lead further as the Bruins were pushing to get goals and make the game interesting. The Bruins could not get the puck out of the zone and Tom Wilson kept the puck in along the boards. Wilson gave it to Kuznetsov far side and Kuznetsov was able to beat Rask blocker side for the 5-2 lead.
The Bruins were able to get a garbage time goal with a minute and half left to make it a little bit interesting. Krejci got his 13th of the the season. Marchand took a shot on Holtby and Pastrnak followed up for the rebound. The puck trickled through Holtby and Krejci backhanded it into the vacant net to make it 5-3.
The Bruins pulled Rask and tried to score two goals with a minute and a half left, but could not put the puck past Holtby as Bruins fall to the Capitals in Washington.
The Bruins will travel back home and play a huge division game Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins are battling for a playoff spot with the Leafs in the Atlantic Division. Puck drop is at 7:00PM at TD Garden.