Tuesday night was just practice for the No. 3 Boston Bruins and No. 2 Washington Capitals’ first-round matchup in the Stanley Cup Playoffs later this week.
So Bruce Cassidy rested his usual contributors, and a bunch of guys from Providence skated against Alexander Ovechkin and the mighty Capitals.
Unfortunately, as overtime looked like a lock, Michael Raffl netted the game-winner to give Washington the 2-1 victory at Capital One Arena. The Caps improved to 36-15-5 as a result.
Boston fell to 33-15-7 in its last game of the regular season, with Curtis Lazar recording the team’s lone goal.
Here’s how it all went down:
THESE KIDS AREN’T BAD
The Bruins youngsters came out with plenty of energy in this one.
Boston and Washington overlapped penalties midway through the frame. First, Connor Clifton was sent to the box for slashing. But just over a minute later, Washington’s Anthony Mantha tripped Steve Kampfer to make it a 4-on-4 situation.
Capitals left wing Carl Hagelin’s shorthanded chance was perhaps their best of the period, but Swayman stopped his slapshot on the breakaway.
All in all, a solid opening 20 minutes with nine stops between the pipes for the rookie goalie kept things tied at 0-0 at the end of the frame.
GRINDING IT OUT
A clutch block from Jarred Tinordi stopped an early opportunity from Ovechkin right away in the second period, and the Capitals fired six shots on the Bruins before Boston got one on net three minutes in.
Lazar got the Bruins on the board at 10:11, assisted by Tinordi and Jake DeBrusk.
The lead was short-lived, though. Washington evened the score about six minutes later thanks to Hagelin’s tally.
The two teams ended the second period the same way they started it: all tied up.
The Capitals outshot the Bruins 27-14 with Boston having a 16-4 advantage in blocked shots.
Trent Frederic and the infamous Tom Wilson got into it instantly in the third and each got slapped with a 10-minute penalty.
Boston’s defense held up for most of the quarter. Oskar Steen rang the post with just 1:30 left in regulation as the B’s tried to find the difference-maker.
Things appeared to be heading to overtime until Raffl potted the game-winner with just three seconds on the clock.
Boston was outshot 32-25 in the game.
With the regular season in the books, the Bruins now must prepare to play the Caps in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Puck drop for Game 1 on Saturday is slated for 7:15 p.m. ET.