The Caps are the top seed in the East, and with their 4-2 win over Carolina and the Canadiens losing 4-3 in overtime to the Maple Leafs, the Bruins are locked into the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff seeding.
This game is simply a tune up and a chance at revenge for the Bruins against a team that stole a win from them in overtime almost a week ago. The only playoff question left is who the Bruins will play in the first round? The current third-seed Buffalo Sabres, or the currently second-seeded New Jersey Devils? Ironically, the two play each other at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday. If the Devils win and hold on for to second place, the Bruins play Buffalo and if the Sabres win, it’s off to Newark to play the Devils.
The Bruins played well enough to win in their last game against the Caps on April 5, but lost 3-2 on a Capitals power-play goal 44 seconds into overtime. Boston is 0-2-1 against Washington and has been out-scored 11-3 in their first three meetings.
Tuukka Rask is 22-12-5 with a League-leading 1.97 goals-against average and .931 save percentage to go with five shutouts. Rask made 33 saves in the 4-2 win over Carolina Saturday and has not lost in regulation since a 1-0 loss to Florida April 1.
Tim Thomas is 16-18-8 with a 2.55 GAA, .915 save percentage and five shutouts. He has not started since March 29 when he was pulled after the first period of a 3-2 loss to Buffalo.
Jose Theodore is 30-7-7 with a 2.81 GAA and .911 save percentage. He has one shutout.
Seymon Varlamov is 15-4-5 with a 2.54 GAA and .909 save percentage. He has two shutouts.
Milan Lucic–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Marco Sturm–David Krejci–Miroslav Satan
Blake Wheeler–Vladimir Sobotka–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin–Shawn Thornton
*The Bruins called up 2007 first-round draft pick Zach Hamill, who will play his first NHL game Sunday.
Zdeno Chara–Johnny Boychuk
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Andrew Bodnarchuk–Adam McQuaid
*The Bruins recalled defenseman Jeff Penner.
Alex Ovechkin–Nicklas Backstrom–Alexander Semin
Brooks Laich–Brendan Morrison–Eric Fehr
Jason Chimera–Eric Belanger–Tomas Fleischmann
Quintin Laing–Boyd Gordon–Scott Walker
Tyler Sloan–Shaone Morrisonn
Jeff Schultz–Joe Corvo
John Carlson–Mike Green
The Bruins could easily mail it in Sunday since they are locked into the sixth seed of the Eastern Conference playoffs, but the way this season has gone, they could benefit from winning against the NHL’s best team, the Capitals and carry a three-game win streak into the playoffs.
This team has had plenty of problems maintaining momentum all season and a win against the an elite team they may face at some point if they get past the second round, could do wonders for confidence.