The Boston Bruins had a Grade A opportunity Saturday night, but they couldn’t come through.
Boston fell 3-2 in overtime to the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
When Jake DeBrusk scored his first-period goal, Capitals netminder Vitek Vanecek injured himself and had to leave the game. That forced taxi squad goalie Craig Anderson, who played in five games this season, into the game cold.
He turned away all but one of the 22 shots he faced.
While they didn’t entirely lack in effort getting shots off, David Pastrnak had six on net, they just weren’t generating enough quality looks. Further, you could argue that they should’ve been way shot-happier since they were getting a cold netminder.
Whatever the case was, they didn’t do enough.
“Our top guys didn’t seem to have it,” Bruce Cassidy said following the game over Zoom. “Couldn’t find ice, give Washington credit, we couldn’t escape pressure on the power play and find the open guy. I just think that a lot of those guys that had been ding a lot of scoring for us weren’t able to get to their game tonight or get the puck to cooperate or support each other well enough to generate enough offense.
“Not typical of what we’ve seen lately from that group, so hopefully Game 2 they’re a little sharper.”
History tells us that Brad Marchand, Pastrnak and the like will find a way to come around. That should inspire confidence, especially since it was depth wingers DeBrusk and Nick Ritchie who did score.
But until Monday’s shot at redemption, the Bruins are left to sit with a bitter taste.