A promising start quickly took a discouraging turn Thursday for the Boston Bruins, who scored first but could not find the back of the net again in a loss to the Washington Capitals.
The 4-1 defeat was the result of an uncharacteristically undisciplined Bruins effort, with poor judgement on the part of Claude Julien’s squad resulting in four avoidable penalties.
The two most costly of those infractions came midway through the second period, with the Capitals owning a one-goal lead.
First came a slashing call on Bruins winger Jimmy Hayes, who rapped his stick across the thigh of Dmitry Orlov after the Capitals defenseman laid out Matt Beleskey in the neutral zone. Just 42 seconds later, Brad Marchand lost his cool during a net-front scrum and clocked T.J. Oshie in the back of the head, earning him a roughing minor and Washington 78 seconds of 5-on-3.
Giving a two-man advantage to a team with as much offensive firepower as the Capitals is a recipe for disaster, and John Carlson made the Bruins pay. The D-man’s one-timer put the Caps ahead 3-1, and they cruised the rest of the way.
The Bruins also committed a delay of game penalty in the game and another for too many men on the ice, and they managed just seven shots on goal in the third period.
?I thought we had a good first 10 minutes,” the coach told NESN’s Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley. “And I thought in the second period, 5-on-5, we were playing even hockey with those guys. But I really felt that those penalties in the middle of the period really hurt us. Some real bad penalties on our part, and the more you give them opportunities, the more life they get. But in the third period, we didn?t generate much offensively, and we had asked the guys to get more shots on net and get some better net-front presence.
“They?re a pretty good defensive team, and I don?t think we worked hard enough tonight to get more goals. We have to get more pucks to the net and get more presence in front. That?s where we lack on the offensive side of things.”
The loss dropped Rask to 1-7-3 in 11 career meetings with the Capitals, but the goaltender was hardly to blame.
Washington’s four goals came via: 1) future Hall of Famer Alexander Ovechkin scoring from his knees, 2) Brooks Laich being allowed to establish his own settlement in front of the Boston net, 3) Carlson’s aforementioned 5-on-3 tally and 4) an empty-netter.
?(The penalties) kind of took the momentum out of us and gave them the chance to have that 5-on-3,” Rask told reporters after the game. “But it?s one of those things that, they happen in the game. You try to control your emotions, and sometimes, we just can?t. It?s just hockey. But I think we showed some good hockey (Thursday). (I?m) not too discouraged.”
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images