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Capitals vs Bruins: Raffl’s First Goal With Capitals Seals Last-Second Win

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Michael Raffl’s first as a Cap in the last possible seconds locks up a season-ending win for the good guys

NHL: Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The last game of the season, one that meant absolutely nothing in terms of standings, with the Bruins sitting just about all of the starters, and the Capitals missing Evgeny Kuznetsov, TJ Oshie, and John Carlson... yeah it wasn’t the most exciting game. But a full game by Alex Ovechkin for the first time in a long time and a last-second winner by an unexpected source salvaged it a bit as the Caps head into the postseason on a high(ish) note.

Plus: The Capitals got through the game without any major injuries. Four players scared us to death with what looks like injuries but everyone finished the game on their own two feet.

Minus: Ovechkin didn’t score six goals to reach 30 but he did get four shots, a couple of them high danger.

A few more notes on the game:

  • The one thing we ask from the final game before the playoffs is for everyone to stay healthy. Zdeno Chara played fast and loose with that request, though, taking a shot from the blue line that rode high and hit Lars Eller in the hand leaving him in discomfort. Luckily, it didn’t do any real damage (we hope), as Eller was out for the next shift.
  • And then it was Chara’s turn to be in pain after going for the puck in the corner, with a guy on his back, and falling with his knee into the boards. He stayed down on the ice for a bit, but thankfully like Eller, didn’t miss a shift.
  • The fourth line created a handful of chances but since Carl Hagelin was the one taking the shots nothing much came of it (love you Hagelin)... at first. More on that in a sec.
  • Early in the second period Anthony Mantha and Ovechkin had a 2-on-1 but Mantha overpassed, sending the puck back to Ovechkin who had to gather the puck before shooting and giving the defensemen time to get in front of it. In a game that mattered, the overpassing would be more frustrating, but we can chalk this one up to Mantha’s first crack at being on a line with Ovechkin.
  • The Bruins got on the board first when big boy Jarred Tinordi went low and was able to outstretch little man Philippe Maillet to get the puck to the front of the net. Curtis Lazar was there to whack the puck home and put the Bruins on the board.
  • Justin Schultz got tangled up in front of the Capitals net that kept him on the ice for a little bit, the fourth Caps player to flirt with injury... but again, it luckily wasn’t serious enough to keep him out of the game. Funny jokes, hockey gods.
  • In this kind of gritty but boring game, it’s usually the role players who step up, and that was true again tonight as Hagelin was able to stash home the garbage in the blue paint after a Chara point shot, tying the game at one. That fourth line played a strong game overall, so it was a well-deserved reward for their efforts.
  • I was literally in the middle of the writing “A whole lot of nothing happened in the third period” then Michael Raffl sniped a puck from no angle, below the goal line with two seconds left in the game to win it for the Capitals.

And that’s all she wrote for the regular season. Saturday the playoffs get underway against these Bruins, and everything is going to be ramped up (to say nothing of the fact that they’ll actually have NHLers in the lineup). The Capitals will have to bring everything they have to beat the guys in gold and black.