The Washington Capitals are known as a skill team with finesse weapons like Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green. Nobody would mix them up with a physical team like the Philadelphia Flyers but Washington sure tried to play that role in Game 3 en route to a 4-3 loss.
Below are the NHL series odds as they currently stand.
While the Bruins looked asleep through the first two games of their first round series with the Capitals, they woke up just in time and now appear to be on their way to taking control of the series.
The Bruins did get four goals in Game 3 after scoring just two in Games 1 and 2. If Braden Holtby looked unbeatable before, he was definitely human in Game 3.
On top of that, the Bruins top two lines, which provided a total of zero points in the first two games chipped in with a pair in Game 3. And if the Bruins effort was at all lackadaisical before, the Washington Capitals antics –- such as showing up wearing shirts featuring president Barack Obama, watching Caps defenseman Karl Alzner mock Bruins captain Zdeno Chara or seeing Backstrom cross check Rich Peverley in the face –- surely woke them up.
We've seen an interesting theme play out in the postseason so far with skill teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks and Capitals trying to get physical with brute teams Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues and Bruins. It hasn't worked. On top of that, it's not likely to work for the Caps going forward.
All along, the Capitals were merely expected to be a stepping stone for the Bruins until their second-round meeting with (hopefully) Florida but more likely Philadelphia. After watching Game 3, the Caps might turn out to be the perfect warm up if it is in fact the Flyers that are on deck.
The Bruins coasted in Games 1 and 2, and it looked like they needed that blunt reminder of what they were in for. But Game 3 was their smelling salt, so to speak. They got a jolt to the system and were reminded how physically demanding the playoffs can be.
And in Game 3 the Bruins reminded everyone that they're not going to be bullied around. Anyone watching –- including the Flyers –- got the message.