Final: The Caps bury home a rebound to take the series. Knuble took the puck in on the left side and tossed one on net and as he drew some traffic, Joel Ward was able to pick up the loose puck and slide it past Thomas.
Overtime, 1:03, tied 1-1: Bergeron nearly ends it from the doorstep but his shot trickles wide. The banged-up winger sure would have deserved it.
Third Intermission Notes: Yes, that’s the third intermission. It’s overtime once again. Could this series end any other way?
The Bruins and Caps will play their fourth overtime game in this series after a scoreless third leaves this one deadlocked at 1-1. With sudden death on tap, every game in this seven game series will be decided by a single goal, something never before seen in the NHL.
The Bruins had two more chances on the power play in the third, including a holding call on Jason Chimera with just 2:26 left. But again the power play was powerless. Boston is now 0-for-3 on the night and 2-for-23 in the series with the man advantage. If Washington wins this in overtime, you will need to look no further than those power play struggles to explain why the Bruins did not advance. That said, Boston survived a horrible power play a year ago, and can still do so again this year.
Third Period, 19:40, tied 1-1: The B’s fail to produce once again on the man up.
Third Period, 17:34, tied 1-1: The B’s go on the man up with just over two minutes to go as Chimera hauls down Boychuk in the B’s zone. The call is a hold and it may be the one Caps fans talk about all summer long.
Third Period, 16:49, tied 1-1: Matt Hendricks gets a 9.8 from the judges for that dismount over Thomas and into the B’s net after the whistle. Give Seidenberg an assist for that one though.
Third Period, 16:02, tied 1-1: Peverley’s short-side, high snipe nearly put the B’s up but the winger let it sail a little to high.
Both teams are benefiting from this late TV timeout.
That rumbling you just felt out in Dorchester? It was the crowd reacting to Ray Bourque being shown on the jumbotron cheering for the Black and Gold.
Third Period, 14:00, tied 1-1: The TD Garden crowd is reaching deafening levels as Paille nearly bags a shorty. The winger picked off a pass in the Bruins zone before racing down the left side and feeding a streaking teammate in front.
Third Period, 12:10, tied 1-1: Seidenberg continues to amaze the hockey world as he lays out to block a would-be goal on a wide-open net. Somewhere, someone is calling that the Michael Ryder glove save of this series.
Third Period, 11:00, tied 1-1: Bergeron is going off for a hooking call after the B’s forward grabbed a Caps attacker on the backcheck of an odd-man rush.
Third Period, 7:00, tied 1-1: Seidenberg with a nice play from the point, feeding a streaking Pouliot with a half-shot, half-pass but the forward couldn’t get enough wood on it and it ends up in the netting behind the glass.
Third Period, 5:20, tied 1-1: Seidenberg and Chara continue to smother the Caps offense. Chara with a pretty poke check as Johansson tried to sneak through the pair at the B’s blue line.
Third Period, 3:35, tied 1-1: The B’s were unable to get anything going on the power play. No shocker there, but the B’s were able to keep pressure on so they didn’t lost any momentum in the failed opportunity.
Third Period, :18, tied 1-1: Hamrlik gets sent off for holding the stick to give the Bruins an early crack at taking the lead.
Second Intermission Notes: Much better effort from the Bruins in the second, and not just because they got the only goal of the frame to tie it up at 1-1 through 40 minutes.
The Bruins came out with the edge that was lacking in the first and played more of their style of game, getting physical against the Caps and initiating the contact after doing most of the absorbing in the opening period. Boston now leads 25-20 in hits after a 15-6 edge in the second. More than the numbers, there were some messages sent with Dennis Seidenberg stepping up to nail Brooks Laich, Johnny Boychuk delivering a big hip check on Jay Beagle, Mike Mottau blasting Jason Chimera and David Krejci and Zdeno Chara combining to drop Joel Ward hard after a whistle.
The Bruins’ goal also began with some hitting, as Milan Lucic got in on the forecheck and finally put a lick on Karl Alzner. Eventually Boychuk fired a blast that Braden Holtby got a piece of, but Tyler Seguin outbattled Alzner to make a diving poke on the puck as it lay in the blue behind Holtby.
The nastiness was turned up in the second as well with a number of scrums and shoving matches. Brad Marchand was in the middle of much of it, while Rich Peverley came within inches of taking a very long vacation. He was shoved down in front by Holtby. After getting up, Peverley turned around a made a baseball swing with his stick at the netminder, but stopped it just short of contact. No penalty was called on the play and Holtby never even flinched.
While the physical play ramped up, not much of it came from the Bruins fourth line, which is sorely lacking Shawn Thornton’s presence as this one gets nastier. Jordan Caron has now played 7:20 and has a shot and a hit, but has been barely noticeable on most of his shifts.
Second Period, 18:30, tied 1-1: Some more white-washing after the whistle, this time after a Caps defender takes out Bergeron from behind late after the play. Marchand and Green exchanged pleasantries and the Caps defender even tossed Marshy’s glove toward the corner. Didn’t we see Sidney Crosby toy with a Flyers glove earlier this postseason? How’d that work out for Sid?
Second Period, 17:27, tied 1-1: Have the B’s cracked Holtby? The keeper has given up some juicy rebounds all frame and could finally be coming down with a cause of the jitters here in front of the Garden’s Game 7 crowd.
Speaking of the crowd, the fans got a good laugh after Krejci (yes, Krejci) tossed Ward down after a whistle in front of Thomas. The Caps winger may have embellished the spill a little, too.
Second Period, 14:27, tied 1-1: Seguin buried a lost rebound to tie things up 1-1.
The winger fought off two defenders to get a stick on the loose puck as it danced behind Holtby. That goal was all thanks to the big blast from the point, which dazed Holtby.
Second Period, 12:30, Caps 1-0: The Bruins are showing some life here halfway through the middle frame as Marchand turned on the jets down the left wing and nearly got off a scoring chance in front. Peverley then blasted a long slapper from the right flank that Holtby barely got a glove on.
Second Period, 9:00, Caps 1-0: Brian Rolston nearly buries a bounce off the backboards to get the crowd back in it. Shortly thereafter, the B’s go offsides on a close call to take some of the pressure from the crowd off them and onto the refs.
Second Period, 8:31, Caps 1-0: After a few Bruins icings, the Boo-Birds start opening up from the balcony. Fans want to see this team pick it up.
Second Period, 8:00, Caps 1-0: Moments after a textbook hip-check from Boychuk on Beagle along the boards, the refs make a confusing whistle after a broken stick. Not sure what the discussion was from way up here on the 9th floor.
Second Period, 7:45, Caps 1-0: The crowd is upset after a non-call on what appeared to be a hold on Chris Kelly as the forward went in for a nice scoring chance. Alzner was doing the hauling and even looked up at the ref to argue the call (non-call) immediately after taking Kelly down.
Second Period, 5:02, Caps 1-0: The B’s nearly get on the board after a nice tip-in of Krejci’s blade barely gets gobbled up by Holtby.
Second Period, 1:43, Caps 1-0: Lucic with a nice back-checking play on Ovechkin after Seidenberg stepped up at the Caps line to lay out Laich as he squirted the puck free from his zone.
Ovi skated in on Lucic but the winger tied him up and fended him off to the corner.
First Intermission Notes: That was not the start the Bruins were looking for in front of the home folks here at the Garden. The Bruins weren’t bad in the opening period, but they didn’t really muster the kind of pressure early you would like to see in a Game 7 on home ice.
The Bruins have an 11-5 edge in shots, but have put few real quality chances on Braden Holtby. Tim Thomas, meanwhile, hasn’t been busy, but wasn’t able to come up with a John Carlson point shot after it was tipped in front by Matt Hendricks. That play began when Milan Lucic overskated the puck along the boards. Jason Chimera pounced on it and fed it back to Calrson, who fired it through the kind of traffic in front that the Bruins have failed to consistently create in front of Holtby.
The Bruins are also surprisingly losing the physical battle so far. maybe that’s not so surprising with the decision to sit Shawn Thornton in favor of Jordan Caron. Washington’s fourth line has dominated play between the two units so far. Caron has no shots and just one hit in 4:19 of ice time, with the Capitals outhitting Boston 14-10 overall.
The Bruins are also struggling a bit in the faceoff circle, going just 8-9 on draws in the first. That’s where Patrice Bergeron’s limitations really hurt. Rich Peverley is 3-4 taking the faceoffs on that line so far. Peverley did have the best scoring chance of the period for the Bruins with a bid at the right post off a feed from Brad Marchand coming out from behind the net. Marchand was a bright spot in the first with his hustle, which also drew the game’s only penalty with a tripping call on Jeff Schultz. The Bruins didn’t do much with the power-play chance though, which has 10 seconds remaining at the start of the second.
A one-goal deficit is no reason for panic, but the Bruins will need a much better effort in the final two frames if they don’t want this to be their last game of the season.
First period, 17:57, Caps 1-0: Marchand and Peverley give the B’s the first big scoring chance as Marchand circled the net and fed the winger/center hybrid a nice feed in front that was stuffed by Holtby.
Moments later, Marchand gets tripped up by Schultz along the left wing to put the Bruins on the man-advantage.
Boychuk and Seidenberg take the point on the man-up with Rolston, Seguin and Pouliot up front.
Second unit: Chara and Bergeron on point with Lucic, Peverley and Krejci up front.
First period, 14:40, Caps 1-0: Greg Zanon nearly finds the back of the net on a screened shot from the point but it just trickles wide of Holtby.
There was and still is some extracurricular activity by the benches as Lucic got a little salty with a few members of the Caps right in front of our good friend Pierre. There was some barking and stick pointing from the Caps bench well after the altercation, so it will be interesting to see if the away team pulls off any funny business here despite being up a goal.
First period, 11:23, Caps 1-0: And just like that, the TD Garden crowd goes silent. The Caps jump out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to John Carlson who snuck one past Thomas from the point.
**correction, the puck was tipped by Matt Hendricks.
First period, 6:20, 0-0: The B’s have taken the early momentum here seven minutes in. Boston has the shot advantage 4-2 and the top line of Lucic, Krejci and Seguin strung together quite the shift that began with a smooth break out and ended with a couple of strong scoring chances.
First period, 3:29, 0-0: The B’s and Caps trade a few small threats three minutes in. Both teams playing pretty conservative thus far. Caps out-shooting B’s 2-0.
7:35 p.m.: The Bruins will open Game 7 with Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley up front, Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk on defense and Tim Thomas in goal.
The Capitals counter with Marcus Johansson, Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Semin up front, Karl Alzner and John Carlson on the blue line and Braden Holtby in net.
7:30 p.m.: Reggie Lemelin is the fan banner captain for Game 7, starting the Bruins flag around the lower bowl of the Garden.
7:25 p.m.: The Bruins have scratched Shawn Thornton again for Game 7. Jordan Caron will be the final forward dressed.
Joe Corvo, Adam mcQuaid, Andrew Bodnarchuk and Anton Khudobin are also out for Boston.
The Capitals have scratched John Erskine on defense, putting Jeff Schultz back in the lineup. Dmitry Orlov, Jeff Halpern, Mattias Sjogren, Mathieu Perreault and Tomas Vokoun are also out for Washington.
7:15 p.m.: Jordan Caron skated on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille on the first and third turns through the line rushes in warm-ups. Shawn Thornton skated there the second time through.
That would seem to indicate Caron will get the nod again, but it’s far from definitive.
Mike Mottau took all the turns with Greg Zanon on the third defense pair and it appears safe to say that he will stay in the lineup over Joe Corvo.
Here are the full line combinations from warm-ups:
7 p.m.: Tim Thomas and Braden Holtby have led the teams out onto the Garden ice for warm-ups.
That’s your starting goaltender matchup in this Game 7 tilt. Both have allowed just 14 goals through six games, though Holtby’s .935 save percentage is slightly better than thomas’ .922.
6:30 p.m.: The Bruins and Capitals will take the ice here at the Garden in just over an hour. For one of those teams, it will be the last time they play this season.
Those are the stakes in Game 7, an experience unlike anything else in sports.
The Bruins still have a decision to make up front, with Claude Julien having to choose between dressing veteran Shawn Thornton and youngster Jordan Caron. Both will skate in warm-ups, with the final decision made just before game time.
8 a.m. ET: No one really expected the Bruins to make this easy, did they?
After a dramatic 4-3 overtime win in Game 6 in Washington to stave off elimination on Sunday, the Bruins return home to the Garden for the decisive Game 7 on Wednesday.
It’s familiar territory for the Bruins, and not just because they’re playing on home ice. This is the seventh Game 7 the Bruins have played in five seasons under Claude Julien. They lost the first three but won three Games 7s last year en route to the Stanley Cup, the first team ever to win three seventh games in the same postseason in NHL history.
So, naturally, the Bruins would have to go the distance in their first series in defense of that Cup.
Despite the Bruins’ 10-point advantage in the standings in the regular season and second seed in the East, the seventh-seeded Capitals have played Boston even throughout the series. How even? Not only is the series tied 3-3, but each team has scored 14 goals, with all six games decided by one goal, and three of them in overtime.
That’s not likely to change Wednesday, when Game 7 promises to be another nail-biter. The Bruins hope to use their advantage in experience — Boston’s roster has played in 87 Game 7s, with a 56-31 record, while Washington’s lineup has played in just 43 seventh games, with a 10-33 record — but they know it won’t be easy. Nothing in this series has been.
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. Tune in to NESN to watch the game, and stay with the NESN.com live blog, as we’ll keep you up to speed on everything happening at the Garden.
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