Brad Marchand, Jeremy Reich Score, But Bruins Fall 3-2 in Washington

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Brad Marchand, Jeremy Reich Score, But Bruins Fall 3-2 in Washington

Final, Capitals 3-2: It's all over in Washington. The Bruins' rally comes up short, as even with Schaefer pulled in the final minute they can't come up with the equalizer.

It was not a bad effort overall for the Bruins, who iced a lineup with many youngsters and journeymen while resting most of their key veterans, but still stayed with a Washington club that had the majority of its key players in the lineup.

The Bruins will have a lineup much closer to what we'll see when the regular season starts when they return home Wednesday night for the rematch against these same Capitals.

Third Period, 16:57, Capitals 3-2: Things get a little nasty as Greg Campbell rides Ovechkin into the boards from behind.

It didn't appear that Campbell actually pushed him, but he gets two for boarding, while Ovechkin gets two for a wicked two-handed slash on Campbell in retaliation.

The open ice with the 4-on-4 play could help the B's to tie this one.

 Third Period, 16:21, Capitals 3-2: Reich with a drive as he comes down the left wing looking for his second of the night. 

Third Period, 11:56, Capitals 3-2: The Bruins are back in this one, as Brad Marchand scores to cut the deficit to one goal.

Milan Lucic helped set this one up with a touch pass along the boards, and Marchand finished it with a nice wrister high to the glove side. Bartkowski picked up his second assist of the night on the play as well after keeping the puck in at the blue line to keep the play alive.

 Third Period, 9:00, Capitals 3-1: After starting the game on the wing, Blake Wheeler is at center again here in the third period, while Colborne has moved over to the right side.

Wheeler might be the best option for that final center spot, with a young winger like Jordan Caron rounding out the top nine forwards rather than a young center like Colborne or Hamill. Plenty of possibilities for Claude Julien to weigh before he finalizes the roster. 

Third Period, 5:27, Capitals 3-1: And the Bruins face a much deeper hole now, as Cody Eakin scores from the slot to give Washington a 3-1 lead.

Matt Bradley, who set up Laich for a bid in the second, gets his assists now with a nice feed out from the right boards.Tom Poti gets the other assist.

 Third Period, 4:41, Capitals 2-1: Not much doing on that power-play chance, though Colborne nearly had a chance with a steal in close in the final seconds of the man-advantage. 

Third Period, 2:41, Capitals 2-1: The Bruins have a chance to get the equalizer as they go on the power play after Sloan is sent off for interference after upending Wheeler.  

Third Period, 0:11, Capitals 2-1: The final frame is under way and the Bruins nearly pull even in the opening seconds as Paille breaks in down the left wing, but his shot sails high and out of play.

Second Intermission Thoughts: The Bruins have 20 minutes to mount a rally and pull this one out, as they enter the third trailing 2-1.

More important than wins at this time of year is player evaluation as the coaches work toward finalizing the roster.

The two big battles are for the final center spot and the last job on the blue line. At center, Joe Colborne continues his quiet night, with one shot in 9:04, while Zach Hamill is a minus-1 with no shots and a minor penalty in 8:56.

On defense, Adam McQuaid is a plus-1 in 11:11 as he tries to hold off Matt Bartkowski (assist, E, 12:05) and Steve Kampfer (1 shot, minus-1, 12:17).

The Bruins will need to stay out of the box if they want to come back in this one. Washington has had four power plays so far, converting the most recent late in the second to go back ahead.

End Second Period, Capitals 2-1: The second period wraps up with the Bruins trailing by one after a late power-play strike by the Caps.

Second Period, 19:16, Capitals 2-1: This time the Bruins couldn't keep the high-powered Caps off the board with the man-advantage'

Alexander Semin does the damage with a shot low to the stick side on Schaefer from the left circle to put Washington back on top. Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson pick up the assists.

 Second Period, 18:25, 1-1: The Bruins will get to test their penalty kill once again, as Reich gets sent to the box this time for holding the stick.

Second Period, 17:20, 1-1: Schaefer with a huge save on Brooks Laich to keep this one tied.

Matt Bradley made a nice play from behind the net, fropping it out front to Laich for a point-blank bid, but Schaefer shuts the door.  

 Second Period, 12:20, 1-1: Another solid kill for the Bruins. Greg Campbell and Daniel Paille were working together up front.

That will be Boston's top PK tandem this year and it should be a good one. Wheeler, LoVecchio and Marchand were among the other forwards used up front on that kill.

 Second Period, 10:20, 1-1: The Bruins will have to kill off another penalty as Mark Stuart is called for slashing.

Schaefer already made one nice stop during the delayed call.

The one positive is that Stuart was back out there after being shaken up earlier in the period.

 Second Period, 7:44, 1-1: It's back to even strength as neither team could do any damage in the various special-teams situations this period.  

Second Period, 5:44, 1-1: and once again the Bruins begate their power play, this time after just 10 seconds as Michael Ryder goes off for high-sticking Nycholat.

It's back to 4-on-4 play once again.

 Second Period, 5:34, 1-1: The Bruins get another chance with the power play as old friend Knuble goes off for tripping. 

Second Period, 1:46, 1-1: Wheeler makes a nice cut to the middle for a bid from the high slot, but Neuvirth makes the save.

Wheeler stays at center for the face-off and wins the draw back to Colborne for a good chance from the top of the left circle. Wheeler is getting a look at center in this camp as well as the Bruins weigh all their options with Savard out.

 Second Period, 1:46, 1-1: The Bruins survive the opening minutes of the second, shutting down Washington's dangerous skaters in the remaining 4-on-4 time and an abbreviated Caps power play. 

First Intermission Thoughts: In the center battle, no one did much to help their cause. Colborne wasn't much of a factor with no shots in 5:24.

That was still better than Hamill, who was a minus-1 with no shots and a bad penalty late in the period.

On defense, Bartkowski continued his strong play with an another assist and is a plus-1 in 6:38. Kampfer is a minus-1 in 6:37, but did set up Hamill for a good scoring chance early.

Overall, the Caps hold a slim 10-9 edge in shots, but Schaefer was solid in goal and Reich picked up a big goal to tie it.

End First Period, 1-1: The Bruins, despite dressing a young lineup against a caps squad featuring Ovechkin and Co., finish the first period even in Washington thanks to a Reich goal late in the frame.

The second will start with some 4-on-4 play after a pair of late penalties, with Hamill taking a boarding call to negate the Bruins' first power-play chance of the night. 

First Period, 19:45, 1-1: That chance didn't last long, as Hamill is whistled for boarding.

Not the kind of penalty to take when you're trying to win a spot on the roster, as the Bruins squander a chance on the power play and will now skate 4-on-4.

 First Period, 19:03, 1-1: The Bruins will get the first power-play chance of the night after some nice work by Daniel Paille.

Paille almost broke in alone, but was tripped up going to the net. Almost a penalty shot, but instead just a two-minute minor to Lawrence Nycholat for hooking.

First Period, 14:13, 1-1: Jeremy Reich pulls the Bruins even as he scores on a blast from the left circle after barreling down the left wing.

Nice to see Reich get rewarded after he was brought back up to play this game. he was demoted on Saturday and cleared waivers, but could still see some action with the big club if injuries strike this year.

Matt Bartkowski continues his strong preseason with the lone assist. That's his third helper in as many games.

First Period, 12:06, Capitals 1-0: The Bruins have their best bid of the night as Brad Marchand breaks down the middle and is in alone, but his backhander is denied.

Good to see some offensive spark from Marchand, who is in a battle to claim a roster spot this year. The Bruins need his agitating style, but he also has to produce some offense.

First Period, 10:40, Capitals 1-0: The Caps continue to press, but Schaefer comes up with a couple big saves, the biggest on a point shot by Tyler Sloan that Jason Chimera deflected in front. 

First Period, 8:40, Capitals 1-0: Washington strike first, as Mathieu Perrault scores on a wrister from the right circle.

Alex Ovechkin and former Bruin Mike Knuble pick up the assists, as the youngster Perrault benefits from the chance to play on the top line with Tomas Fleischmann a late scratch.

First Period, 6:59, 0-0: And the gloves are off for the first bout of the night, which is a heavyweight affair between Shawn Thornton and Washington's D.J. King.

After a long square-off, King gets off to a strong start with some rights. Thornton tries to rally, but King puts him down to end it.

Not a bad showing by Thornton against a bigger foe. King is one of the new elite heavyweights in the East this season, and a reason the Bruins are giving a long look to Brian McGrattan in camp this year. McGrattan is not dressed in this game.

First Period, 5:59, 0-0: Still a bit of a feeling-out process here in the early going.

Wheeler is skating on the wing with Colborne on center, though Colborne was tossed from the face-off after an off-sides. Wheeler took the draw, but lost it.

First Period, 2:00, 0-0: Zach Hamill has an early bid off a feed from Steve Kampfer, but Washington's John Carlson gets back to deflect the shot high.

7:05 p.m.: Nolan Schaefer will be getting the start in goal in this one for the Bruins, giving Tuukka Rask a break.

Rask has played two of the first three games this preseason, with Schaefer starting the other as Tim Thomas continues to work his way back from offseason hip surgery. Thomas has not been cleared yet for game action by the medical staff, but could make his preseason debut Wednesday.

6:45 p.m.: It's getting close to the time for the opening face-off as the Bruins prepare to take on the Capitals in Washington.

One of the main things to focus on in this game is the battle for the third center spot on the squad with Marc Savard sidelined indefinitely and David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron sliding up to the top two center slots. Former first-round picks Joe Colborne and Zach Hamill will both be in the lineup for this game vying for that third center job. Blake Wheeler is also a possibility, but he was skating on the wing on Colborne's line in the morning skate. That could be a fluid situation though, as Wheeler was a center in college at Minnesota, while Colborne played on the wing for much of last year at Denver.

Tyler Seguin has also spent the preseason at wing but is a natural center, and could move back to the middle to open up a spot for another winger like Jordan Caron. Seguin and Caron are not playing on Tuesday, leaving Colborne and Hamill in the spotlight for this one.

Hamill has been a bit of a disappointment since being taken with the eighth overall pick in 2007, but Bruins coach Claude Julien has been impressed with his performance so far this year.

"I think he's had a good camp," said Julien. "He's one of those guys that has gotten a little stronger every year. I see a guy who's got a little bit more confidence in making plays. I see a guy that's a little bit more involved in the play because he feels stronger and capable of doing that, so I like the direction he's taking."

Hamill is also returning to the scene of his greatest moment yet, as he played his lone NHL regular-season game in the Bruins' finale last season in Washington, picking up an assist in a 4-3 shootout win over the Caps. 

5:35 p.m.: Another change for the Capitals' lineup in this one has just been reported.

Mike Vogel of washingtoncapitals.com reports that Semyon Varlamov will be held out for what Washington coach Bruce Boudreau told Vogel is "Maintenance, general maintenance. Not feeling 100 percent."

Michael Neuvirth will get the start instead. Former Bruin Dany Sabourin will remain the backup for the Caps.

5 p.m.: While the Bruins are dressing a relatively young lineup in Washington, the Capitals will counter with plenty of star power.

In addition to Alex Ovechkin making his preseason debut, the Caps will also have the likes of Mike Knuble, Brooks Laich, Alexander Semin, Mike Green and Tom Poti in the lineup. Tomas Fleischmann was expected to play, but will sit out to rest a minor undisclosed injury.

According to the Washington Post, here's the full lineup for the Capitals:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin-Mathieu Perreault-Mike Knuble
Brooks Laich-Marcus Johansson-Alexander Semin
Jason Chimera-Cody Eakin-Matt Bradley
D.J. King-David Steckel-Boyd Gordon

Defense
Karl Alzner, John Carlson, Mike Green, Lawrence Nycholat, Tom Poti, Tyler Sloan

Goalies
Semyon Varlamov
Dany Sabourin

There's plenty of familiar faces in that group. Knuble and Sabourin are both former Bruins, with Sabourin spending most of last year in Providence, though he did dress as Boston's backup goalie for several games. The Caps also have a strong New England flavor with Worcester, Mass. native and former Boston University standout Poti and John Carlson, who was born in Natick, Mass., on the blue line.

Washington did lose one New England connection on Tuesday when Keith Aucoin (Chelmsford, Mass./Norwich University) was placed on waivers. Aucoin, who played in the Bruins system for Providence in 2002-03 and again in 2004-05, will be assigned to Washington's AHL affiliate in Hershey if he clears. 

1 p.m.: The Bruins have wrapped up their split-squad skates at the Garden and will soon be heading down to Washington.

The players who will dress in this game took part in the first session, and here's a look at how they should line up for the matchup against the Capitals.

Forwards

Milan Lucic-Zach Hamill-Brad Marchand

Jeff LoVecchio-Joe Colborne-Blake Wheeler

Daniel Paille-Greg Campbell-Michael Ryder

Jeremy Reich-Wyatt Smith-Shawn Thornton

Defense

Matt Hunwick-Johnny Boychuk

Mark Stuart-Steve Kampfer

Matt Bartkowski-Adam McQuaid

Goalies

Tuukka Rask

Nolan Schaefer

The Bruins recalled Reich, Smith and LoVecchio to play in the game, while sending Ryan Spooner back to his junior team in Peterborough and assigning Jamie Arniel to Providence.

8 a.m.: The Bruins get back into action on Tuesday night with an exhibition game at Washington.

But they'll start the day in Boston with a morning skate at the Garden before heading down to the nation's capital. That skate should give an indication of who will dress in this one, but expect to see plenty of the young guys battling for the final roster spots getting a chance to show what they can do.

In a conference call on Monday, Bruins coach Claude Julien indicated he'd have a lot of the younger guys in the lineup for this one, allowing some of the veterans to stay behind and finalize arrangements for the upcoming trip to Europe. The Bruins host the Caps in the back end of a preseason home-and-home series on Wednesday, then leave for Belfast right after that game.

According to the Washington Post, Semyon Varlamov will play the entire game in goal for the Capitals, while Alex Ovechkin is expected to make his preseason debut on a line with Tomas Fleischmann and former Bruin Mike Knuble.

The Capitals could also have Matt Hendricks in the lineup. He was signed to a one-year, two-way contract on Monday after coming to Washington's camp on a tryout basis. Hendricks, who had a hat trick in Washington's preseason opener at Columbus last Wednesday, spent the 2007-08 season in the Bruins system, playing for Providence before the Bruins traded him to Colorado for Johnny Boychuk on June 24, 2008.

The Bruins are 1-1-1 so far this preseason, while the Capitals are 2-0-0 with a 6-2 win at Columbus and a 2-1 victory at Nashville.

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