Playing “from start to finish” is one of the oldest sports adages in the books, but the cliché certainly holds weight.
The Boston Bruins, for example, have played their best hockey in the second and third periods this season, but slow starts have plagued the B’s early in the 2017-18 campaign.
That theme was prevalent Saturday night at TD Garden, where the Bruins allowed two first-period goals to the Washington Capitals. Boston controlled play for the majority of the second and third periods, but it ultimately wasn’t enough, as the Caps hung tough for a 3-2 road win.
The B’s had several opportunities to get back in the game, as they were awarded three power plays in the final period. Boston only was able to convert on one of the man advantages, though, as Capitals goalie Braden Holtby was strong throughout the frame.
After the game, Zdeno Chara applauded Boston’s late-game efforts, but the Bruins’ captain noted the obvious shortcoming in the game.
“We fell behind, obviously, two goals,” Chara said, as seen on NESN’s Bruins postgame coverage. “I thought we had a way better second and, obviously, a pretty good third. We just needed one more to tie, but overall I thought, for the most part, we played a strong game. We just obviously didn’t score that extra goal.”
Patrice Bergeron shared similar thoughts as his teammate, expressing how tough it is to see strong overall performances squandered by a sluggish start to the game.
“We can’t have that, especially against a team like Washington with a lot of skills,” the Bruins’ alternate captain said. “They made us pay in the first period and it’s tough to play catch-up hockey.
“We had some really good looks. I thought we had some good traffic. At the end, we came close a few times, but the bottom line is it’s tough to let those points go by a tough start.”
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Capitals:
— The Capitals now have won 10 straight games against the Bruins dating to October 2014.
— Tom Wilson scored two of Washington’s three goals, marking the first multi-goal game of his career.
— Boston still has yet to post back-to-back wins this season.
— Despite the loss, the B’s held a 33-27 advantage in shots and posted 25:24 of zone time compared to the Caps’ 20:18.
— David Pastrnak’s two goals pushed his season total to eight, putting him in a tie with Brad Marchand for the team lead.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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