Time for Game 2, boys and girls and babes! It’s been two days since Game 1, have we all recovered? No? Well too bad, because playoff hockey waits for no one! The Washington Capitals took Game 1 from the Boston Bruins on Saturday night with a nailbiter of an overtime victory that included a less than ideal injury to goalie Vitek Vanecek. Enter noted playoff goaltender Craig Anderson, starting in his first postseason game since 2017. In front of Anderson, the Capitals looked like this:
Game 2 Capitals lines vs Bruins:— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) May 17, 2021
The Bruins would be without the services of Jeremy Lauzon, who caught a Justin Schultz shot with his right hand on Saturday night and exited early, immediately testing Boston’s defensive depth. Connor Clifton got the call, slotting in next to Kevan Miller.
Here’s Monday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Craig Anderson stepped in and stepped up, folks. After allowing two goals on the first five shots of the game, he stopped the next 40 Boston shots on goal before Taylor Hall’s third period goal.
Minus: An injury to Lars Eller? Big yikes. Fingers crossed it isn’t too serious, because the Capitals’ centers are dropping like flies these days.
Thirteen more notes on the game:
1. The Bruins got on the board first this time around just 5:05 into the game. Charlie Coyle made a patient play to fool Craig Anderson and pull him out of the crease to the left of the net. Brenden Dillon accidentally clipped Anderson on his way around the net, pushing him further out of position, and Coyle fed the puck to Jake DeBrusk in front for what was essentially an empty net shot. 1-0 Bruins.
2. Michael Raffl drew a holding call on David Pastrnak 6:09 into the first on a nice drive to the net, giving the Caps just their second power play opportunity of the series. Washington needed just 12 seconds on the man-advantage to tie things, with the tally from none other than T.J. Oshie. Alex Ovechkin fired the puck towards Tuukka Rask from the left circle, and Oshie had his stick ready and waiting for an absolute beauty of a deflection.
THE TIP MASTER STRIKES AGAIN! pic.twitter.com/LSDIvFN3CN— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 17, 2021
3. A messy turnover near the Caps’ blue line led to a Patrice Bergeron goal with 10:39 left in the first, just TIME after Oshie’s game-tying tally. Dmitry Orlov tried to orchestrate a zone exit but Pastrnak gloved down the clearing attempt and sent the puck to Bergeron in the slot, who did not miss for his first goal of the postseason. Two goals on five shots for the Bruins, and a not-so-fun fact: the Bruins have won eight-straight playoff games when Patrice Bergeron scores a goal.
4. With 7:14 left in the first, Nic Dowd took a trip to the sin bin for roughing. However, with 52 seconds left on Dowd’s penalty, Brad Marchand took a roughing penalty of his own after a scrum in front of Anderson. It certainly seems as though the referees are setting the tone for tonight. Cue some four-on-four hockey before an abbreviated Washington power play. Ovechkin got a few good looks, but Rask and the Bruins kept the Caps from going two-for-two on the power play.
5. The Capitals tied things back up right off a faceoff win with 3:18 to go in the first. A Dmitry Orlov point shot deflected off Garnet Hathaway’s skate blade on its way to the net, before trickling past Tuukka Rask and over the line. This is Hathaway’s first career postseason goal — congrats, Garny!
6. At 6:22 of the second, John Carlson was called for tripping Taylor Hall, who appeared to ask for a penalty shot on the play. No dice on that, but Carlson did sit in the box for two minutes. Pastrnak had a nearly-empty net at his disposal on a rebound of a Marchand shot, but his attempt was sent wide after Nick Jensen just got his stick in the way.
Solid pressure from the Capitals’ PK unit and a few excellent shot blocks from Jensen kept the score at 2-2.
7. About halfway into the second, Lars Eller was seen heading down the tunnel with athletic trainer Jason Serbus. He appeared to be flexing his left leg at the end of his last shift, according to NHL’s Tom Gulitti. This leaves the Capitals with just two true centers, Nicklas Backstrom and Nic Dowd, on the bench since Oshie is centering the third line tonight. Of note: Michael Raffl can also play center if need be.
Eller was not on the bench at the start of the third period, and shortly after the period began the team announced that Eller was doubtful to return to the game with a “lower-body injury.”
8. With 6:29 to go in the second, Connor Clifton and Tom Wilson got minors for interference and embellishment, respectively.
The fans at Capital One Arena were decidedly not pleased with the embellishment call and made their displeasure known — it’s good to have you back, Caps fans. After just 20 seconds of four-on-four hockey, Brad Marchand and Anthony Mantha were dinged for coincidental minors for slashing and high-sticking, respectively. These calls were even weirder, and the fans were even louder with their indignation.
David Krejci and David Pastrnak had a two-on-one rush down the ice at one point, but John Carlson was there to break it up with an excellent defensive play. Yes, you read that right.
9. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: coincidental minors! Craig Smith and Nick Jensen both got sent to the box for roughing with 3:06 left in the first, setting up more four-on-four hockey. Smith cross-checked Jensen in the head not once, not twice, but thrice, and the refs sent both of them to the box. Sure, why not? Nothing came of this bout of four-on-four, which brought the game to just under seven minutes of four-on-four on the night so far, and the Caps and Bruins went into second intermission still tied at 2-2.
10. The Capitals got the first power play chance of the third period just 2:05 after puck drop when Nick Ritchie was called for roughing on T.J. Oshie. Anthony Mantha put on a bit of a show early on in the man-advantage and the Caps got five shots off, but the Washington power play could not convert. They got another chance less than a minute after Ritchie’s penalty expired when Taylor Hall was called for tripping on Conor Sheary, but they once again could not capitalize on the opportunity. Tied at 2-2 with 13:07 to go.
11. Just 11 seconds after Hall’s penalty expired, Garnet Hathaway decided that one goal was not enough for him tonight and gave the Capitals their first lead of the night with an absolute snipe past Tuukka Rask over his glove. Carl Hagelin snagged the puck in the neutral zone and fed it to Dmitry Orlov, who set the play up with a sick cross-ice pass to Hathaway. In the words of Craig Laughlin, “Wowie kazowie.” Make sure to catch the John Walton call of this one, too.
12. With just 2:49 to go in the game, the Bruins tied things up with a Taylor Hall tally, his first of the postseason. There was a scrum in front of the net, and after several Boston attempts Hall finally tapped the puck in past Anderson.
Taylor Hall ties it up during a scrum in front of the Caps' net.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 18, 2021
3-3 game. pic.twitter.com/5XnLo4BrOb
It’s a whole new hockey game, y’all — bring on OT.
13. It only took Brad Marchand 39 seconds to score and put an end to OT. Brenden Dillon made a half-hearted clearing attempt that David Krejci easily intercepted, and Krejci passed the puck to Matt Grzelcyk who teed up a perfect pass for Marchand. Boston wins 4-3.
The Caps and Bruins head up to Boston with the series tied at 1-1. Game 3 is this Wednesday at 6:30pm.
Game 5 of the series has been scheduled for Sunday May 23 at 7pm in Washington.