Eric Fehr just scored in overtime to give the Capitals the 3-2 lead, putting the cap on another gut-punch loss for a Bruins team that led 2-0 heading into the third period.
Overtime, 1:40, 2-2: The Bruins are up against it now.
Chris Kelly just hit the post with a potential game-winner, and now the Bruins are without their best defensive player. Zdeno Chara is headed to the penalty box for a two-minute hooking penalty.
End regulation, 2-2: The third period comes to an end with the Bruins unable to score on the 4-on-3. They got a couple of shots on goal, but there wasn’t any legitimate scoring chance.
The B’s will open the overtime with 25 seconds of power play.
Third period, 18:21, 2-2: Boston will get its chance to score a big third-period goal, thanks to a Washington penalty.
Mike Green just caught Tyler Seguin with a hooking penalty, and the Bs’ get 1:07 of 4-on-3.
Third period, 17:28, 2-2: Brad Marchand has struggled over the last few games, but he may have just inadvertently helped the Bruins.
Marchand and Alex Ovechkin got tied up after a play, and both players got roughing minors. They’ll both sit for two minutes, which means we’ll have 4-on-4 hockey until the final minute.
Third period, 15:43, 2-2: The Bruins have started to turn things on here late in the third with the help of their top two lines.
The B’s haven’t been able to roll their full lines for much of the period with all of the penalty killing, and now that they’re back to even strength, they’re able to get some things going. Milan Lucic was just stopped on a one-time bid in front of the net.
Third period, 11:00, 2-2: The good news is that the Bruins killed off the penalty. Actually, that’s really the only news right now.
Third period, 8:13, 2-2: The parade to the penalty box for the Bruins continues.
Adam McQuaid was just called for holding, and the Capitals have another power play.
Third period, 7:21, 2-2: We’ve seen this one before.
The Bruins have once again seen a third-period lead evaporate in Washington, and it’s Mike Green on the power play again. The defenseman just blasted a rocket by Tuukka Rask for the goal that ties the game.
Third period, 6:27, Bruins 2-1: The Caps, fresh off a power-play goal, will get another man-advantage to try and tie the score.
Rich Peverley gets called for tripping, and that gives Washington the power play.
Third period, 5:26, Bruins 2-1: The Capitals’ power play has been as good as it gets, and that’s because they have some real offensive talent.
One of those talented players is Mike Green. The defenseman just beat Tuukka Rask with a wrist shot from the right point to cut the lead in half.
Third period, 5:11, Bruins 2-0: The impressive Capitals power play gets another chance.
This time, it’s because of an Adam McQuaid trip.
Third period, 0:01, Bruins 2-0: The third period is underway.
Second period reaction: More of the same from the Bruins in the second period, and that’s good news over the last couple of games.
The Bruins are starting to look a lot better defensively, and when they have gotten a little sloppy in their own end, Tuukka Rask was there to make the save. The goalie is one period from posting his third shutout in as many starts. That’s fairly impressive.
At the risk of making this the Milan Lucic Show, the big forward did a terrific job of helping Boston score its second goal in the second period. Lucic skated furiously down the middle of the ice and then dropped the puck to Rich Peverley while not breaking stride on his way to the net. Peverley passed it to Andrew Ference, and the defenseman scored with a wrist shot, thanks in part to Lucic screening in front.
Ference has been playing much better in the last month or so, and he’s having another nice night. He’s logged almost 13 minutes of ice time so far, and he’s got three hits in addition to the goal.
End second period, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins were able to kill off the penalty, and they almost extended their lead to three in the process.
Rich Peverley was able to hop on a loose puck in the neutral zone and looked to be on a breakaway all alone. However, Alex Ovechkin was able to catch Peverley and bump him off of his path just enough to disrupt Peverley’s scoring chance.
Second period, 17:15, Bruins 2-0: If the Bruins want to take the 2-0 lead to the room, they’ll have to kill off a penalty.
Zdeno Chara was called for holding, and Washington is about to begin its first power play of the night.
Second period, 14:44, Bruins 2-0: Tuukka Rask just had to make his biggest combination of saves, and he looked very good doing so. He looks incredibly calm right now with no wasted movement, and the results speak for themselves.
However, he had to make those saves because the Capitals are starting to turn things on in the Boston end. The Caps have upped their pressure, and the Bruins’ sloppy play in their own zone along with the inability to clear the puck has made for some hectic play here in the second.
Second period, 10:13, Bruins 2-0: We’ve talked a lot about Milan Lucic so far, but don’t forget about Tuukka Rask. The Bruins goalie has a shutout in each of his last two starts, and he’s halfway to picking up another one at this point.
Second period, 7:49, Bruins 2-0: Milan Lucic continues to impress, and it leads to the second Boston goal.
The big forward just took off down the middle of the ice on a Bruins rush, and he went straight to the crease. Lucic planted himself in front of the net, and he created just enough net-front traffic to screen Braden Holtby as Andrew Ference followed the play and beat Holtby with a wrist shot.
Second period, 5:08, Bruins 1-0: The B’s weren’t able to get anything on their first power play.
They did, however, get a few chances in the middle of the man-advantage with Milan Lucic doing some playmaking. It’s certainly a good sign to see him getting going.
Second period, 2:56, Bruins 1-0: We saw a first period with no penalties, but it didn’t take long for us to get a penalty in the second.
The Bruins get the first power play after Jason Chimera gets called for holding.
Second period, 0:10, Bruins 1-0: The second period is underway.
First period reaction: The Bruins have to feel pretty good getting out of the first period with the lead, especially with the way things started. The Bruins were a little flat and a little sloppy in the first seven minutes or so, but they rebounded nicely and turned in what was actually a pretty decent period.
Milan Lucic got the B’s on the board with the game’s lone goal so far, a goal that can’t be described as anything other than lucky. However, that’s what happens when you start to play your game. Both Lucic and Claude Julien spoke Thursday night about how if Lucic continues to play his game — skating hard, playing physical and hitting — that everything else will come along. It’s not very scientific, but it usually works out that way. When Lucic was going poorly in the last month or two, he wasn’t moving his feet. He also wasn’t getting any bounces or any luck around the net. Now, he starts to skate hard and play his game, and that has already paid off for him.
By the way, Toronto is leading Montreal 1-0 in the first period.
End first period, Bruins 1-0: That incredibly quick period comes to an end with the Bruins leading 1-0 in Washington.
After the TV timeout at 7:05, I’m pretty sure there wasn’t another TV stoppage, which means the period flew by. It also means I was short on live blog updates. I’ll make up for it with some analysis and reaction in a few minutes.
First period, 9:59, Bruins 1-0: Milan Lucic showed signs of breaking out Thursday night against Tampa Bay, but he had nothing to show for it. Well, now he does.
Lucic just gave the Bruins the early lead after he took a puck off of a faceoff win and just put a wrist shot toward the net that hit Karl Alzner’s skate and went by Braden Holtby for the goal.
First period, 7:05, 0-0: Seven minutes in, and the Bruins are still looking for any sort of sustained momentum in the offensive end.
The game has been played, for the most part, in the Washington zone. The Capitals have already put seven shots on goal to just two from the Bruins, and Tuukka Rask has already had to make a couple of big saves, including one on Troy Brouwer where the goalie kind of jumped around his crease before making a shoulder save.
Offensively, it’s just more sloppy passing from the Bruins who have turned the puck over a handful of times already.
First period, 0:01, 0-0: The game is underway in Washington.
7 p.m.: By the way, it’s another NESNplus night for the Bruins. You can find your local listings by clicking here.
6:50 p.m.: It appears that Kaspars Daugavins will be back in the Bruins’ lineup in place of Jaromir Jagr. According to pregame line rushes, the Bruins are going with the same lines that they rolled Thursday, aside from replacing Jagr with Daugavins.
It will be Daugavins’ first appearance since April 13.
For those asking for lineups sooner, the Bruins had an optional morning skate with a handful of players sitting out. So there were no morning skate line rushes to go off of. Without those, you have to wait until pregame line rushes, which is where we learned that Daugavins in for Jagr was the only change to the lines from Thursday’s game. So, yeah.
6:35 p.m.: The Eastern Conference playoff picture is far from solidified, and it probably won’t be until the season officially concludes with Bruins-Senators on Sunday night.
The B’s could still face one of four teams in the first round of the playoffs. They could end up taking on the Maple Leafs, Rangers, Islanders or the Senators.
The Rangers white-washed the Devils earlier today, which moves New York into the No. 6 spot. If the playoffs started right this minute, the Rangers would play the Capitals, and the Bruins would take on the Islanders.
The thing is, though, is that the Senators still have two games to play. They’ve got Philadelphia at home Saturday before wrapping up the season in Boston on Sunday night. Ottawa is currently the No. 8 seed with 54 points. If they win both games, they could conceivably move all the way up to No. 5 and take on whoever doesn’t win the Northeast — either Boston or Montreal.
The Sens could also win one of two, and they would leap-frog the Islanders, bumping the Isles to No. 8. That would set up a Bruins-Senators first-round series, assuming the B’s are able to win the division.
It’s kind of messy at this point. We’ll know more in a few hours, but we won’t know for sure until the season comes to a close in a little more than 24 hours.
6:30 p.m.: Pregame wamups have begun in Washington, with Tuukka Rask leading the Bruins out and Braden Holtby getting the nod for the Caps.
5:45 p.m.: Happy Saturday night, hockey fans. Hopefully you decided to join us for a few hours before heading off to the bars and pubs to do whatever it is you crazy kids do.
The Bruins, as you all know by now, are in Washington to play the Capitals. That would be a good thing for the Bruins at the beginning of the season, but the Caps have turned it on down the stretch here. Under first-year coach Adam Oates, the Capitals are one of the hottest teams in the league. That all comes after they were among the NHL’s worst teams in the first month or so of the season. You could argue, in fact, that the Caps started to turn it around against the Bruins. Washington came from behind after falling down 3-0 in the first period on March 5 to beat the B’s in overtime.
Counting that win, the Capitals are 18-7-2 since March 5, and in the process, they have locked up the Southeast Division title and the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference. They’ve been even better since the calendar hit April, going 10-1-1 in the season’s final month, playing their best hockey as the season comes to a close. A lot of that stems around the resurgence of Alex Ovechkin, with the Russian forward returning to the ranks of the league’s best players. Ovechkin is making a play for the Rocket Richard trophy with a league-leading 32 goals entering play Saturday night. Twenty-two of those goals have come since March 17 with Ovechkin scoring 15 times in April.
2 p.m.: The Bruins will be without Jaromir Jagr for this one, and they’ll also be without fellow winger Nathan Horton. The big forward hasn’t played since last week when he was injured in a fight with Pittsburgh’s Jarome Iginla. The upper-body injury forced Horton to leave the game, and he hasn’t played since. That trend will continue Saturday night in D.C.
Horton skated Thursday and Friday, but he’s still not ready to return. In fact, it still sounds like it’s up in the air as to whether or not the winger will be back for the beginning of the playoffs.
“I wouldn?t say 100 percent,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien told reporters when asked whether or not Horton would be ready for the playoffs. “To us right now, that?s the main goal, he should be ready for us. But again, those are always hard things to kind of pinpoint, depends on when we start and everything else. But he?s skating, he?s progressing, he?s doing much better, so we anticipate, and our goal is, to certainly have him back by then.”
12 p.m.: The biggest not from morning skate is that Jaromir Jagr will not be in the lineup for this game. In fact, he didn’t even make the trip. Claude Julien says Jagr is suffering from the flu right now, so he didn’t even head down to Washington. Jagr didn’t practice Friday, either.
8 a.m.: The Bruins took a step in the right direction Thursday against Tampa Bay, but now they have to try and string that together as they get set to enter the playoffs.
The B’s bounced back from an awful showing in Philadelphia on Tuesday to shut out the Lightning on Thursday night, and now they head to the nation’s capital on Saturday night to tangle with the Capitals. The Bruins will have their first chance to wrap up the Northeast Division in the process. If the B’s win and the Canadiens lose in regulation or overtime, the Bruins will clinch the division and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
They sure sound like they’re making the division title a priority, so it would make sense that they’d do all they could to get that out of the way Saturday, which would give them the option of resting some players Sunday night at home against Ottawa.
The Bruins are looking to establish consistency as a team, but they’re also looking to do so individually. That’s why it will be interesting to see whether or not Milan Lucic is able to continue where he left off Thursday night. The big forward had one of his best, most involved games in a long time against Tampa Bay, and he needs to show that he can do that consistently as the playoffs are just a few days away.
The answers to all these questions will come at 7 p.m.