Boston Bruins hockey officially is back, but unfortunately for the team, the season opener was a night to forget.
The Bruins skated into Capital One Arena on Wednesday and the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals punched them in the mouth. After raising their championship banner, the Capitals jumped all over the Bruins, scoring two goals in the first 1:47 en route to a 7-0 beatdown of Boston.
It was rocky from the get-go for Boston as T.J. Oshie found the back of the net 24 seconds after the puck dropped and the B’s were unable to recover. Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask was pulled midway through the second after giving up five goals on 19 shots, but backup Jaroslav Halak also struggled, giving up two goals on 18 shots.
Washington showed no signs of a Stanley Cup hangover as it had six different players score while Braden Holtby was perfect in the crease making 25 saves.
With the loss, the Bruins fell to 0-1 to begin their season, while the Capitals improved to 1-0.
Here’s how it all went down:
CAPS GO UP EARLY
The Bruins found themselves in a hole less than two minutes into the game.
It took just 24 seconds for Washington to score its first goal of the season when Oshie slapped a one-timer past Rask to put the home team on the board.
The Caps doubled their lead at the 1:47 mark on the power play after Sean Kuraly was whistled for tripping. Rask fumbled a loose puck in front of the net off the faceoff and Evgeny Kuznetsov capitalized two seconds into the man advantage to make it 2-0.
Boston went on the power play with 11:34 left in the period, but never could find the back of the net despite some solid chances in front of Holtby.
Washington had two ample scoring chances in the final minute of the opening period, but Rask made two big stops to keep Boston’s deficit at two.
CAPS CAPITALIZE ON POWER PLAYS
The penalty kill continued to haunt the Bruins in the second period … and unfortunately the B’s found themselves down a man often in the middle stanza.
Brad Marchand was called for tripping three minutes in and Alex Ovechkin ripped a shot from the circle on a beautiful setup by Nicklas Backstrom to give the Capitals a 3-0 lead.
It didn’t get much better for Boston when Matt Grzelcyk couldn’t clear the puck and Nic Dowd shoveled a backhander from the slot to light the lamp for the 4-0 advantage.
Rask’s night came to an end on Washington’s fifth goal of the night and third of the period when Kuznetsov netted his second tally with help from Holtby.
B’s head coach Bruce Cassidy pulled his starting netminder for Halak and he was tested early, making two big saves right away. His next big test came when Washington, once again, went on the man advantage after Kevan Miller was called for cross-checking with just over six minutes remaining in the second.
It got even tougher for the backup goalie for when the Caps went on a 5-on-3 for 27 seconds after David Backes went to the box for slashing. John Carlson got in on the scoring party with a perfect slap shot from the faceoff circle to beat Halak and make it 6-0.
CAPS SEAL VICTORY
The Capitals continued to put the beatdown on the Bruins with their seventh goal of the game when Lars Eller out-hustled everyone and scored on a breakaway.
Tensions started to boil over for Boston when Brad Marchand and Eller exchanged words after his goal and the two dropped the gloves. Marchand connected with some big right hooks, drawing blood as he dropped Eller to the ice.
It wouldn’t spark anything for the B’s, however, as the final horn sounded to seal Washington’s victory.
The Bruins finish off their quick two-game road trip when they travel to Buffalo to take on the Sabres on Thursday. Puck drop from KeyBank Center is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images