Final, Capitals 4-1: That's all from the TD Garden, where Jose Theodore was in his 2002 Vezina form with 41 saves on 42 shots. The Caps have now won a franchise-record 11 straight games, while the Bruins are winless in their last eight.
The Bruins don't have a lot of time to sulk, as the Canadiens come to town Thursday night. A loss to the Habs may be too much to take for the hockey fans in this town.
Third period, 31.4 seconds, Capitals 4-1: You knew Ovechkin would find his way onto the scoresheet. He buries an empty-netter, and the Caps have it wrapped up.
Third period, 1:03, Capitals 3-1: Save No. 40 for Theodore came with Thomas on the bench. And there's 41! Can't beat this guy. Not tonight.
Third period, 1:40, Capitals 3-1: Claude Julien calls a timeout, hoping to draw up some magic. The faceoff is coming in the Capitals' zone.
Third period, 3:32, Capitals 3-1: Now the boo birds are out in full force as the masses head toward the exit. There's not a lot of hope left in the building, but that's what happens when the last victory seems like months ago.
Third period, 5:00, Capitals 3-1: Jose Theodore could finish the night with 40 saves. He's got 36 at the moment.
Third period, 8:17, Capitals 3-1: This place is dead. Woof.
Third period, 9:50, Capitals 3-1: Thomas makes a save on a shot from center ice and gets a halfhearted Bronx cheer. Pretty unwarranted, as he's not been terrible this evening. I suppose when a sellout crowd gets frustrated though, nobody is safe.
Third period, 10:35, Capitals 3-1: That was just Gordon's second goal of the season. Go figure.
A good chunk of fans headed to the exits, unable to watch another one slip away from the Bruins. It's going to take a minor miracle to even force OT, as Theodore has stopped 32 shots and looks virtually unbeatable.
Third period, 12:09, Capitals 3-1: No sooner did these fingers type the words "this crowd is still very much" in it than the Capitals were burying goal No. 3.
Thomas got caught in no man's land and Boyd Gordon had a wide-open net in front of him.
Third period, 12:57, Capitals 2-1: Johnny Boychuk and Ovechkin go back and forth with some body contact, and the building erupts. This crowd is still very much in this one.
As another note, Ovechkin has been getting the Chara-in-Montreal treatment all night, getting booed whenever he touches the puck.
Third period, 14:56, Capitals 2-1: Moments after Thomas looks great by stopping a pair of Capitals shots, he lets one in, looking pretty bad in the process.
Laich fired a shot from the circle, and Thomas never really reacted properly. The five-hole was open, and Laich didn't miss.
Third period, 15:30, Capitals 2-1: A couple notes:
Blake Wheeler brought his big boy legs tonight. Guy is flying out there.
Also, Ovechkin just put the okey-doke on Chara. I'm not sure if you can technically put the okey-doke on someone in ice hockey, but I'm pretty sure that's what I just saw.
Third period, 16:20, Capitals 2-1: Big Z had a nice shooting lane on the man advantage but opted to pass. Caps are doing a nice job with their positioning though, and the power play is over.
Third period, 18:45, Capitals 2-1: Jose Theodore, you've got to be kidding me. This guy is stopping everything, most recently turning away Lucic from the doorstep.
As NESN.com's James Murphy points out via Twitter, this looks like the Theodore of old.
B's are going back on the power play thanks to an Ovechkin slash.
Third period, 20:00, Capitals 2-1: Sturm is back on the bench.
Second intermission: As promised, here's the second installment of overtime trivia.
If a team pulls its goaltender in overtime and gets scored upon, they forfeit the guaranteed point which it earned by forcing the extra period. The only exception is if a team pulls its goalie during a delayed penalty kill and accidentally scores on its own net. Then the game ends, but the losing team still gets a point.
It's always interesting what you can find in the old rulebook.
Second intermission: The past two games in this building have not been short on exciting play, but whether or not the Bruins can turn that into two points remains to be seen.
So far in this one, we've seen a penalty shot, a pair of highlight reel saves from Theodore and roughly 78 power plays.
The third period could give the B's a tremendous boost heading into these final two weeks before the Olympics, or it could completely take the wind out of their sails.
End of second period, 1-1: The Bruins once again hold a heavy shot advantage in the second period, outshooting the Caps 16-12. They now have a whopping 29 shots, but only one goal.
Second period, 4:34. 1-1: Scratch that first one, Theodore just guaranteed another spot on the highlight reel, swatting away a puck with his stick. The puck was inches from crossing the line. The guy is making a habit of that.
On the plus side for the B's, Semin just got called for his third penalty of the night.
Second period, 6:10, 1-1: Lucic just let John Erksine know that he didn't appreciate the late shove on Savard. Nobody has dropped the gloves in this one, but both sides have been flirting with the rough stuff. You have to wonder if, given Mark Stuart's broken finger suffered while punching Wayne Simmonds' head the other night, the Bruins have been instructed to hold their punches for a while. They certainly can't afford any more avoidable injuries.
Second period, 6:48, 1-1: The Bruins have stymied the league's best power play, as the Caps are now 0-for-4 on the man advantage.
Washington came into the game with a 26.3 percent success rate. The B's countered with the NHL's third-best PK unit with an 86.4 percent rate.
Second period, 7:37, 1-1: For the second time in as many games, Thomas makes a save while sitting on his backside. Saturday, he made one in the shootout, and just now, he stopped a Brendan Morrsion one-timer. Shades of Tom Brady completing a pass from his backside a few years back.
Second period, 8:51, 1-1: The Captials just cost themselves some 5-on-3 time, hanging on to the puck for about 15 seconds while the ref had his hand up. In any case, Bergeron's off to the box for hooking, and the Caps have 16 seconds of 5-on-3.
Second period, 9:26, 1-1: The penalty shot opportunity goes by the boards, as Krejci tried to pick his spot with a snapper but missed wide right. My apologies to Scott Norwood.
Still 1-1 midway through the game.
Second period, 9:26, 1-1: Penalty shot! Krejci broke free and got hooked from behind, and the crowd is going nuts.
Second period, 10:36, 1-1: Just a dumb penalty there by Marco Sturm. He wrapped up Poti with a big bear hug, and the ref all the way out at center ice made the holding call. The ref in the zone didn't call it, but you can see a hold like that from a mile away.
Maybe Sturm realized he was in the live blog photo for the game and hadn't yet been mentioned. That probably explains it.
Second period, 13:14, 1-1: If you watched the BU-Northeastern game on Monday night, you heard NESN's Andy Brickley use the word "patience" about 12 times in describing the teams' penalty-killing units. The same can be said for the B's on that Washington power play, as the Caps had absolutely nowhere to go with the puck in the Bruins' end.
Second period 14:00, 1-1: That's just not right. Ryder gets a point-blank opportunity from the edge of the crease, but Theodore gets his right pad over in time to deny him the goal.
Second period, 16:35, 1-1: Ryder heads to the box, and the Capitals have a chance to seize complete control of this one early in the second frame.
Second period: Mike Knuble does what he did plenty of time in a Bruins jersey, planting one in the back of the net just two minutes into the second.
Tim Thomas had been outstanding to start the period, stopping shots from Brooks Laich, Tom Poti and Ovechkin. He had no chance on the goal though, as Poti hit Knuble in front of the net. Knuble wasn't missing from there.
Second period: As we wait for the second period to commence, here's a bit of overtime trivia for all you inquiring minds out there.
If a team is on a 5-on-3 power play at the end of the third period in a tie game, the overtime period begins 5-on-3. Once play gets to 5-on-4 or 5-on-5, teams resume 4-on-4 play at the next stoppage.
I'll have another piece of OT trivia for you after the second period.
End of first period, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins got a little sloppy with the puck in their own end with just under a minute left, but Thomas pounced on the puck. A late goal would have been pretty devastating for the B's, and they're no doubt happy to have an advantage heading into the room.
The puck didn't spend a lot of time in the Bruins' end that period, aided a bit by the Capitals' four penalties. But even when the teams were at even strength, the Caps couldn't find a rhythm, as evidenced by the Bruins' 13-5 shot advantage.
With such an explosive Washington offense, though, it's safe to say the Bruins are going to need finish their opportunities when they get them. There were at least two quality opportunities that didn't result in goals, something the Bruins need to fix in the next 20 minutes.
On the plus side, Wideman picked up an assist and inched his plus-minus rating closer to even (he's now a minus-12). The B's also kept Ovechkin at bay, though he did fire a wicked snapshot from the circle. Thomas raised his right shoulder to deflect it out of play, but holy cow does that puck fly off his stick.
First period, 3:35, Bruins 1-0: Well, we know what hockey play will make SportsCenter's top 10 plays Monday night. Wheeler worked his way in front of the net all alone, but Theodore somehow shifted his body around to make a shoulder save. It was awkward, but it got the job done.
First period, 4:44, Bruins 1-0: Some nice work from Miroslav Satan in the neutral zone and Savard in the offensive end get the Bruins a faceoff in the Capitals' zone. Satan may be 35, but hands like that don't disappear.
First period, 6:01, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins can't convert, but they had a good chance when Krejci slid a pass toward Mark Recchi. The veteran couldn't bury it, and score remains 1-0 in favor of the B's.
First period, 7:58, Bruins 1-0: Bruins are heading back on the power play as Semin is burning a path to the box. Hard to blame him for this one, as Michael Ryder would have had an easy goal had he not been hooked to the ice.
B's are 1-for-3 so far.
First period, 8:42, Bruins 1-0: For a minute there, I thought we might make it a full 20 minutes without a TV timeout. A goal and two icings were the only stops in play, neither of which calls for the break.
In any case, Derek Morris deserves some credit for blocking two Ovechkin shots, as does Tim Thomas for poke-checking the puck away from Jason Chimera on a breakaway. It was a do-or-die play, and Thomas did.
First period, 13:02, Bruins 1- 0: That's definitely the start the Bruins needed, with David Krejci picking up his 10th goal of the year. With all that extra room on the ice, he found space and fired one past Theodore's glove side. Great puck movement all around, with Dennis Wideman and Marc Savard picking up the assists.
First period, 13:10: B's are set to have a 5-on-3 with Semin high-sticking Chara. It's tough to get your stick that high.
First period, 14:38: Hey look, it's an Adam McQuaid sighting! That poor kid has been back and forth from Boston to Providence more times than a Greyhound driver this year, so it's nice to see him actually out there.
Bruins are again going on the power play with Matt Bradley picking up a tripping penalty.
First period, 15:50: Ovechkin looks a little jumpy out there, whiffing on a shot attempt then mishandling a pass. Now he just skated the puck offsides. I'm willing to bet he gets his act together.
First period, 17:44: Well, that was fun.
The B's enjoyed a brief man advantage before Blake Wheeler was whistled for interference. Didn't seem like much from up here, so be on the lookout for some tight calls in this one.
First period, 18:57: The Bruins will get an early chance to get ahead, with Backstrom heading to the box for holding.
7:10 p.m.: There's not a man in New England who can get a crowd fired up like Rene Rancourt.
Michael Buffer, eat your heart out.
7:06 p.m.: This matchup will pit the last two Jack Adams Award winners against each other. Claude Julien won the award last year, while Bruce Boudreau took home the honor the previous year.
6:59 p.m.: The Bruins and Capitals may not have the most storied rivalry in the world, but they'll always have the Byron Dafoe–Olaf Kolzig fight.
The fight was more than 11 years ago, but it's hard to forget (thank goodness YouTube has every possible memory preserved). The two were friends, as each served as the other's best man in their weddings, hence the laughing.
There's also, of course, the foot in the crease in the '98 playoffs, but that's something that Bruins fans probably would rather not talk about. Thanks a lot, Tim "The Toolman" Taylor.
6:57 p.m.: There's a late-arriving crowd here at the TD Garden, but there seems to be a decent amount of red scattered throughout the crowd. It's not overwhelming, but there's certainly more red here now than there was purple and black on Saturday night.
6:51 p.m.: Jose Theodore will stand between the pipes for Washington. He's 17-7-4 with a 2.82 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage so far this year.
6:48 p.m.: The Bruins are in their standard home jerseys. No bear jersey, no Winter Classic jersey, just the basics. For a team that's struggled so much lately, going back to basics may be just what the B's need to do with their game.
6:43 p.m.: The B's and Caps are finishing up pregame warmups, and even from the highest floor in the building, that red No. 8 stands out on the ice.
So, too, do Alex Ovechkin's numbers on the stat sheet. Though he's missed eight games, he's by far the team leader with 76 points. Nicklas Backstrom isn't too far behind with 63 points in 55 games, while Alexander Semin has 55 points himself.
The Capitals have some firepower, to say the least. By comparison, Patrice Bergeron leads the Bruins with 33 points in 47 games, with Zdeno Chara and Blake Wheeler close behind with 29 points.
2:58 p.m.: What does a struggling Bruins team that's lost seven straight need on a Tuesday night? Probably not a visit from Alexander Ovechkin and the best team in the Eastern Conference.
That is, however, exactly what they're getting, as the Washington Capitals invade the TD Garden. Not only do the Caps have the second-most points in the NHL (just one behind the Sharks), but they're on a 10-game winning streak. They've beaten Philadelphia, Toronto, Florida (twice), Detroit, Pittsburgh, Phoenix, the Islanders, Anaheim and Tampa Bay. They've outscored those opponents 47-21, needing just one of those 10 games to win in a shootout. Oh, and they've won 13 of their last 14 and beat the Bruins at the Garden on the opening night of the season.
Suffice to say, if the Bruins want to snap their seven-game winless streak, it's not going to be easy.
Check back leading up to faceoff for more updates.
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