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Bruins Try Their Best to Lose, But Can’t Pull it Off

Adam McQuaid gets the better of Washington's Matt Bradley. (AP Photo / Michael Dwyer)

The Bruins went up 3-0, and then looked like there was a good chance they would lose; where have we heard that before? Instead, they allowed the Capitals to climb right back in the game, and the Caps had plenty of quality chances to tie and take the lead, but Boston emerged victorious 3-2. The Bruins got an early chance 38 seconds in, which almost sparked a skirmish 1:34 in, and from there on out, the 1st Period was all Boston. It didn’t really take too long to get on the board. Michal Neuvirth allowed a goal in approximately every four shots against him in his previous meetings with Boston this season, and Patrice Bergeron took just 3:27 to roll a puck over Neuvirth’s left pad for the 1-0 lead.

8:13 into the game, Andrew Ference scored on a deep slap shot to give Boston a 2-0 lead. If that sentence sounds unusual, it should; Ference hadn’t scored a goal in his last 99 games. Nice time to break that streak. And just four seconds later, Washington became frustrated with themselves, and Matt Bradley tried to punk out Adam McQuaid. Instead, Bradley was punked out himself, and Washington gained nothing.

As if all that wasn’t enough (and as the 3rd Period showed, it wasn’t enough), with 2:57 left in the 1st, Blake Wheeler snapped the puck in for the 3-0 lead going into the 1st Intermission and putting Boston on pace for a 9-0 win.

But the intermission got Washington going, and they came out blazing. About two minutes in, and Boston had their chance, but Neuvirth made the save on Tyler Seguin, and the Capitals took the puck right down the ice. Matt Bradley (remember him?) took a bad angle shot, but Tim Thomas let slip right by him.

Washington’s momentum started to give way to Boston, who neutralized the offense, but couldn’t get that goal back. They had an attacking zone push when Neuvirth seemed to pull something while stretching for the puck. Play was stopped, but Neuvirth remained in the game.

But after the 2nd Intermission, it was literally all Capitals. Washington got more shots on goal in that one period than Boston had all game. Washington scored their second goal at the 14:32 mark, when Johnny Boychuk check a Capital and they fell onto Tim Thomas leg and knocked him back. Though Thomas still had a decent chance to make a block.

The Capitals kept it up for just about the whole period; there was still plenty of fresh ice in Washington’s end. Tempers nearly flared twice in the last minute by the Boston net after heavy pushes, but Washington couldn’t get themselves that one last goal, and Boston cleared the puck as time expired for the 3-2 win.

JERRY!! JERRY!! Moment of the Game:

When McQuaid and Bradley got into their scrap, McQuaid responded by punching off Bradley’s helmet and wrestling him to the ice. Looks like that extra inch of height came in handy.

That’s What He Said:

“That 3rd period was pretty brutal, [with] some of the plays in our own end.” – Andrew Ferrence on the game’s progress

Scoring Summary:

1st Period
3:27 BOS Patrice Bergeron (6) Snap Shot – Assists: Blake Wheeler (5) & Adam McQuaid (2)
8:13 BOS Andrew Ference (1) Slap Shot – Assists: Brad Marchand (8) & David Krejci (17)
17:03 BOS Blake Wheeler (8) Snap Shot – Assists: Patrice Bergeron (13) & Johnny Boychuk (6)
2nd Period
2:18 WSH Matt Bradley (3) Backhand – Assists: David Steckel (3) & Matt Hendricks (6)
3rd Period
14:32 WSH Karl Alzner (2) Slap Shot – Assists: John Carlson (12) & Alex Ovechkin (25)

Penalty Summary

1st Period
8:17 BOS Adam McQuaid: Fighting (maj) – 5 min
8:17 WSH Matt Bradley: Fighting (maj) – 5 min
2nd Period
5:23 BOS Brad Marchand: Hi-sticking – 2 min
3rd Period
NONE

Goalie Stats:

Goalie Save Total TOI
WSH Michal Neuvirth (L) 18/21 59:19
BOS Tim Thomas (W) 39:41 60:00

Shots on Goal:

1st 2nd 3rd Total
WSH 5 10 26 41
BOS 11 8 2 21

Game Notes:

  • Boston now trails Montreal in the Northeast Division by two points. Washington is now in 3rd place in the Southeast behind Atlanta and Tampa; it’s the first time the Caps havn’t led their division this late in the season since 2007, when they finished last in their division.
  • The last time Andrew Ference scored was on February 22, 2009.
  • Three Bruins needed one more stat for a Gordie Howe hat trick; Bergeron and Wheeler needed a fight and McQuaid needed a goal.
  • Toronto is third to last in the NHL, and the Bruins own their next first round draft pick.

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