The Boston Bruins were not able to win their fourth straight game Wednesday night in Washington.
The B’s had their win streak snapped in a 5-3 loss to the Capitals, who’ve now won eight consecutive games against Boston and seven of the last eight meetings at the Verizon Center.
Brad Marchand was the best player on the ice for the Bruins. He scored two more goals to increase his team-leading total to 23.
The loss drops the Bruins to 26-22-6, while the Caps improve to 34-11-6.
Here’s how it all went down.
CAPITALS STIKE FIRST
The Capitals opened the scoring at 3:06 of the first period when Nicklas Backstrom made a slick pass through the neutral zone to spring T.J. Oshie for a breakaway. Oshie beat Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask to give Washington a quick 1-0 edge.
It didn’t take Washington long to double its lead. Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen blasted a shot at Rask’s far pad, and the rebound went right into the slot where Backstrom was waiting for it. He quickly fired toward goal and scored, giving him a multi-point period.
BRAD MARCHAND STAYS HOT
Marchand scored his fifth goal and seventh point in the last four games with a beautiful shot late in the fist period to beat Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and get the Bruins on the board.
Marchand scored another power-play goal at the 2:49 mark in the second period to even the score.
It’s his third two-goal game and fourth multi-point game in Boston’s last four contests.
- two goals vs. Detroit on Jan. 24
- two goals vs. Pittsburgh on Jan. 26
- two assists at Tampa Bay on Jan. 31
- two goals at Washington on Feb. 1
The Bruins struck twice on the power play, giving them goals with the man advantage in four straight games for the first time all season. Boston entered Wednesday with the 18th-best power-play success rate in the NHL at 17.7 percent.
Marchand’s inclusion on the power play should help that percentage climb even higher. He hasn’t been given enough power-play opportunities in recent seasons despite his consistent 5-on-5 goal scoring. Based on the way the B’s have been scoring this season — bottom third of the league in goals scored per game — they can’t afford for Marchand to be on the bench during power plays.
OVI GIVES CAPITALS THE LEAD
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin put his team ahead 3-2 on a power-play goal with just 15 seconds remaining in the second period.
That’s Ovechkin’s favorite spot on the power play, and he rarely misses the net from there.
The goal was the 550th of Ovechkin’s career, moving him into sole possession of 27th place on the league’s all-time goals scored list. He also passed Wayne Gretzky on the all-time power-play goal list, moving into a 14th-place tie with Joe Sakic at 206 PPG.
Patrice Bergeron blocked a shot early in the third period and needed to be helped off the ice and down the tunnel toward the locker room. The puck appeared to hit him in the area of the knee that isn’t padded very well. He looked to be in considerable pain.
Luckily for the Bruins, Bergeron returned to the bench shortly after leaving the game and even took a power-play shift at the 10-minute mark.
Capitals forward Brett Connolly dealt a blow to his former team by doubling Washington’s lead to 4-2 with a goal at 3:29 of the third period.
B’s center David Krejci scored with 1:31 left in regulation to trim the deficit to 5-3, but that’s as close as the Bruins would get for the remainder of the game.
Krejci now has goals in back-to-back games.
The Bruins return home for a Saturday night matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Feb 1, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) controls the puck against the Washington Capitals during the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports