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Capitals vs. Bruins Recap: Late Penalty Dooms Caps

Capitals fight hard but two bad penalties cost them the game

NHL: Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

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Tonight’s game was going to be a tough uphill battle for the Capitals, missing two of their top blueliners with John Carlson (COVID protocol) and Dmitry Orlov (suspension) and without the services of T.J. Oshie (injury) and Conor Sheary (COVID protocol). On top of that they would be facing an angry Boston team that got their butts handed to them just two nights ago at home. If the Caps wanted to get a win they’d need top-tier goaltending and be able to take advantage of whatever chances they could get against a strong possession team.

They managed some of that, but not all, and despite their ability to even things up a few times throughout the game and keep things close, a late power-play goal cost them the two points.

Plus: The Capitals fought hard in a game that they were supposed to lose. Can’t blame them too much. They are just too shorthanded right now.

Minus: Two stupid penalties cost the game for the Caps, both avoidable by fourth-line players and both ended up with goals in the back of the Caps net.

A few more notes on the game:

  • Evgeny Kuznetsov started off the scoring with an absolute snipe upstairs. It’s wild the kind of shots Kuznetsov will pass up but insists on shooting from no angles. Well it worked putting the Caps up 1-0.
  • Boston striked back quickly with a lucky bounce that goes off Nick Jensen’s stick right to Boston’s best goal scorer. The Caps are already in such a tough situation, they did not need unlucky goals scored against. Nonetheless it was 1-1.
  • The Caps first power play looked pretty good. But what I want to note is one of Ovechkin’s slapshots clocked in at 100mph. The dude is 36 years old. What a monster.
  • Brad Marchand did his usual Marchand thing and tripped Jensen then cross checked Jensen while he was down. He’s lucky he was only called for one penalty.
  • During the penalty kill, Tom Wilson destroyed a Anton Blidh, laying him out on the ice. Bruins weren’t happy about it and neither were their fans. The hope isn’t Boston doesn’t get energy from that, much like when Wilson hit Brandon Carlo last season, then Bruins came back and beat the Capitals.
  • Towards the of the period, Charles McAvoy hit Trevor van Riemsdyk hard sending him to the ice, but luckily he bounced right back up. The game was obviously, very physical affair.
  • The Capitals got their third power play of the game and did nothing with it. Right after that Garnett Hathaway took an unnecessary penalty, it’s something he’s been doing a lot lately and it needs to stop. And of course the Bruins scored on it give the Bruins a 1-2 lead.
  • Capitals had a nice respond shift where Nic Dowd ripped a shot from the slot right off the cross bar.
  • Hathaway returned the favor for his bad deeds and drew a penalty giving the Capitals their fourth power play of the game. But, as usual, Caps did nothing with it.
  • Vitek Vanecek came up huge twice in short order. First he stopped a good short handed chance by the Bruins then a breakaway by Jake DeBrusk. It was because of those saves that the Capitals were able to get back into the game because shortly after Lars Eller scored from the left circle tying the game 2-2.
  • Kuznetov took a slashing call but the Capitals had a good penalty kill with only a few outside slap shot chances towards the end of the power play.
  • With 10 minutes left the Bruins got their second lucky goal of the game as the puck deflected off of Kuznetsov stick and barely inched over the line giving the Bruins a 2-3 lead.
  • But the Capitals didn’t let that get them down. After a great forechecking shift by Wilson, he stole the puck and got it to Backstrom who sniped it for his first of the season to tie the game up 3-3.
  • With 2:34 left in the game, Dowd took an offensive zone penalty. Just the worst timing as the Bruins scored with 45 seconds left winning them the game.

Up Next: The Capitals take on the Ottawa Senators at home on Saturday 7PM. Those are two points the Capitals can’t let up.