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Capitals vs. Bruins Recap: That Old Familiar Feeling

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The Washington Capitals down the Boston Bruins behind some good offense and even better defense, for once.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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The Washington Capitals downed the Boston Bruins tonight 4-1 behind bookends of good play from the top and bottom lines. Ovechkin recorded another marker and the powerplay knocked off the dust as well, doing damage on the man-advanage. An empty-netter in the final minute sealed the deal. The defense - especially the third pairing - did its job, and but for the first ten minutes of play, the Capitals looked like a winning hockey team all around.

Here's Thursday night's Plus/Minus:

  • Plus: The third defensive pairing of Dmitry Orlov and Nate Schmidt looked like the best. Quick, decisive, and competent. No more could be asked from a blueliner or a group decision where to have dinner.
  • Minus: Brooks Laich, despite his meat-deflection goal, still looked downright lost much of the game, loping towards puckcarriers unconvincingly.

And now, this...

Game highlights:

Ten more notes on the game:

  • The Capitals' third defensive pairing of Dmitry Orlov and Nate Schmidt might just be their best. Both players are whip-quick, clearing danger decisively and keeping the metaphysical taffy-pulling machine that is an NHL cycle churning along successfully with good puck control.
  • I wish I could quit you, Brooks Laich! For much of the game, Laich looked downright lost. His play of late has been reactive, non-committal, and just sort of...adrift. He got on the score sheet tonight with a deflection in off an Orlov slap shot, and in fact made a beautiful pass for Orlov before curling around to block the net to set up the whole thing. But at the end of the Day, Handsome Brooks is a $4.5 million twelfth option.
  • Tom Wilson is a player who knows his damn role, and that's about the highest compliment you can pay a fourth-liner. Tommy Gun is all big pop, big energy, big effect when he's on the ice. He is the tip of the spear, the buzzsaw on the BattleBot, that gives other teams the ol' Dirty Harry staredown. He imposes his will, and we're all in his inheritance.
  • Another slow start to the game for the Caps, who approached the early part of this race with all the zeal and urgency of of Jeb Bush on Robitussin. The puck barely left the defensive zone for the first ten minutes, and that's long enough for plenty of teams to kill you.
  • Hallelujah, the power play unit scored! A 5-on-3 piledriver from John Carlson in the right circle finally answered Creedence Clearwater Revival's immortal question: "Have you ever seen the rain?" Yes we have, John. Yes, we have.
  • It was another up-and-down game for Swedish elevator manufacturer Andre Burakovsky. At times, Andre aspyxiates the offense by making careless passes in the zone. At others, he makes just the right move that even I couldn't see from the press box. Consistency is the name of the game, both in hockey and in peanut butter marketing. Andre is much better when he's smooth.
  • Your first fight of the season featured Tom Wil-...oh, it didn't? It was Michael Latta? Huh. Weird. But kinda dope.
  • Tuukka Rask and Braden Holtby are both very good goalies, recording nearly 30+ saves each. MAKE THE SAVE GUMBO, PAD BOYS!
  • Barry Trotz was honored at Verizon tonight with an in-house mention of his naming to the coaching staff of Team Canada. When the jumbotron cut to a close-up of Trotz on the bench, he was screaming at the play on the ice, utterly oblivious to the tribute. Atta boy, Barry.
  • Alex Ovechkin his a goal scoring algorithm from a distant exoplanet, who's latest man-flesh spectacle was a tumbling flick-in over the shoulder of Rask. I welcome our galactic overlord.

This was a good one for the home team. A quality victory over a quality Eastern Conference team. Let's hope this this one carries over when Toronto comes to town this weekend