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Recap: Caps 3, Bruins 2 (OT)

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[AP Recap - Gamecenter - Game Summary - Event Summary]

Another night, another visit from a desperate team, another overtime game.

It was hard to tell whether the Caps were once again disinterested or whether the tight defense of the Bruins made it seem that way - whatever it was, this game wasn't pretty and there were stretches when it wasn't particularly entertaining. But thanks to some stellar work in net - on both ends - and some stellar work in front of it, the Caps come away with two points that the Bruins so badly needed.

Ten more notes on the game:

  • After back-to-back shaky starts, it was only natural to question whether Jose Theodore had once again returned to earth. It seems it was only a minor bump in the road, however, as for the second straight game Theo came up big when his team needed him to and made huge save after huge save. There's no question that the Caps don't win this one if he doesn't come up big; in fact, they don't even get to overtime.
  • The top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Knuble has been relatively quiet of late, but you could feel that a big breakout night was coming soon. It happened tonight, not exactly as one would expect but exactly the way it needed to - with a couple of garbage goals and hard-working assists. Along with scoring two of the three goals, they were extremely effective in keeping the Bruins hemmed into their own end all night and worked the cycle well. Nice to have you back, boys.
  • Boston isn't blessed with a high octane offense this year (to put it mildly), so their only option is usually to commit to total team defense and clog things up for their opponent. They were pretty good at taking away time and space tonight, even with a few key bodies out with injury, and frustrated the Caps throughout the game. Maybe we don't want to see them in the first round after all...
  • Heading into overtime, Brooks Laich had been having a fairly quiet night, with a few shots to his name but nothing that really stood out. But in that extra frame, when it counted, there was #21 - face mask on, body parked in front of the net, scooping up a juicy rebound and sending the Caps to victory. 
  • In a weird quirk of the scoresheet, every single Bruin ended up with an even +/- on the night. That'll happen when the same cast of characters is on the ice for every even strength goal, for and against - including big Zdeno Chara.
  • David Steckel won 5 of his 15 faceoffs. One of the ten he lost came with 6.3 seconds remaining in the first period, a 1-0 lead on the board for the Caps. A rough night in the faceoff circle overall for Stecks, but that draw in particular needs to be won and once again, it cost the Caps.
  • Alexander Semin probably should have gotten a penalty for high-sticking Chara; if that gets called, perhaps the game ends up differently. Well, the refs missed that one. They did not, however, miss Dennis Wideman trying to give Tomas Fleischmann an impromptu nose job early in overtime - and thank goodness, because the Caps made him pay, and fast.
  • Scott Walker is just fun to watch. Period. Exclamation point. His energy and snarl will be a great asset for the Caps in the postseason for sure.
  • Alex Ovechkin registered 6 shots, had another 3 blocked and 1 miss the target. He picked up 2 assists, 3 hits, 2 giveaways, 2 takeaways and even won 2 faceoffs. Just another night for the Captain, right? Here's the strange part - he did it in just 18:14 of ice time. In fact, no forward registered more than 18:20 (Backstrom) or less than 9:47 (Bradley) on the night. And that's how you rest your stars heading into the playoffs, kids.
  • The trio of Shaone Morrisonn, John Erskine and Jeff Schultz combined for 13 blocked shots; the rest of the team accounted for 9 total. 
It wasn't exactly a great effort by the Caps, but it wasn't wholly unsatisfying, either...winning in overtime will do that.

The best news of the night? With just three games remaining in the regular season, the meaningful games are creeping ever closer and we can see what we really have.

Aaaaany day now.

Game highlights: