The Washington Capitals wrapped up the road portion of their 2016-2017 season with their 23rd road win of the season, a 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins, a team over which they have had a certain mastery in recent years. It was a generally solid effort over a team they might be facing again...soon.
Here’s Saturday afternoon’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Justin Williams. With a goal and an assist, he had his ninth multi-point game of the season. Washington is 8-1-0 in those games.
Minus: Sloppy, undisciplined play in the middle of the second period -- a penalty by Tom Wilson and a retaliatory penalty by Jay Beagle in the same sequence, and a couple of iffy shifts by Evgeny Kuznetsov -- let the Bruins ease back into the game.
Ten more notes on the game:
- Passing is an art that not every player possesses, but the deft little saucer pass from Justin Williams into space to let Marcus Johansson cradle the puck and deke Anton Khudobin to the ice before depositing it in the back of the net 4:21 into the game was an artful turn.
- Riding into the corner boards was probably not on Brandon Carlo’s list of “favorite things,” but he was on the inside of an Alex Ovechkin hit 13 minutes into the first period that left him on all-fours on the ice longer than anyone would have liked to see. He did not return.
- Exchanging goals less than a minute apart is one thing, but doing it with both goals reviewed for the same thing, a goal being dislodged? One of the stranger things you will see this, or any other season.
- “Shatt on” was a thing, when Kevin Shattenkirk scored that second of two reviewed goals in the second period, his second in three games.
- It was almost two for Shattenkirk a minute later, but the goal was overturned on a ruling that Justin Williams interfered with Khudobin’s ability to defend the crease. Williams sneered at the fates by taking things into his own hands with a goal less than a minute before the second intermission.
- Denying teams power play chances has been something the Caps improved on over their last ten games. Then they committed three penalties (two on one play) in the span of 2:52 of the second period, giving Boston two power plays.
- Even strength was kind to the Caps. They held their own against a very good possession team, out-attempting the Bruins, 43-42, and out-shooting them, 26-20, at 5-on-5.
- Ninth multi-point game of the season for Justin Williams. The Caps are 8-1-0 in those games.
- Taking a stick in the face was merely the last of several interesting moments for Jay Beagle. He had a great scoring chance in the first period denied, but drew a penalty on the play. He had an uncharacteristic retaliation penalty (standing up for Tom Wilson, in a reversal of roles), and then he took a stick in the face by David Krejci in the third period.
- Seeing goaltender Philipp Grubauer put in a solid performance (21 saves on 22 shots) was a fine sight to see. Most folks in Caps Nation realize that he could be the focus to fill a goaltending slot with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in the weeks to come. If this was his last regular season game with the Caps, he made sure he would go out in style.
And now, this...