When the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals last met in the postseason in 2012, every game was decided by one goal.
Nine years later, the tradition remained.
Nic Dowd broke a 2-2 tie, scoring the game-winner at 4:41 in overtime as the Capitals earned the thrilling Game 1 victory.
After the Capitals gained their offensive zone, Wilson from the right wing fed a pass to Oshie at the point. Oshie uncorked a one-timer that Dowd got a piece of and deflected past Tuukka Rask.
Jake DeBrusk and Nick Ritchie had the goals for the Bruins. Tom Wilson and Brenden Dillon also scored for the Capitals.
Rask turned away 29 shots for Boston. Vitek Vanecek made three saves for Washington, but left in the first period with an injury. Craig Anderson came in and proceeded to make 21 stops.
The Capitals lead the series 1-0.
Here’s how it all went down.
The Capitals came out hellbent on taking the body, and the Bruins preferred to use their footspeed. Both things were expected. The end result was a 1-1 tie after 20.
And, of course, it was Wilson who scored first. Charlie McAvoy tried to fire a puck from the point, but his stick broke, springing a Caps 3-on-2 going the other way.
T.J. Oshie carried the puck well into the offensive zone, but knowing Wilson had a defenseman without a stick on him, sent the puck to the winger. Wilson quickly flicked the puck top shelf past Rask at 6:22 for the game’s opening goal.
After a tough regular season, DeBrusk’s postseason got off to a smashing start.
Curtis Lazar won a messy offensive-zone draw, getting it up to the top of the circle, where DeBrusk, who had skated over from the wing, retrieved it. The winger took a stride and fired a wrister that beat Vanecek, who clearly did not see the puck and injured himself on the play, at 13:10.
The Bruins had a pair of opportunities on the power play in the first period, but didn’t cash in on either.
MORE OF THE SAME
Just like in the first period, the Capitals struck first but couldn’t hold the lead.
Bad luck felled a Bruins defenseman on the Capitals’ second goal, too.
After Washington won an offensive zone face-off, Dillon handled the puck at the point. He uncorked a shot while Alex Ovechkin and Jeremy Lauzon battled for position at the front of the net, and the puck ended up connecting with Lauzon’s stick and bouncing past Rask, putting the Caps up 2-1 at 8:44 in the second.
The goal originally was credited to Ovechkin but was changed to Dillon.
As they did in the opening period, the Bruins responded later in the period.
Dmitry Orlov went to the box for a high-stick, and the Bruins started gaining some momentum on the man advantage. Shortly past the midway point of the power play, David Pastrnak started drifting toward the half wall above the left circle, then threw the puck towards the net. It deflected off John Carlson and then Ritchie’s chest, at which point it snuck through the legs of Anderson.
The Capitals got a 3-on-1 at the end of the period, but a Lars Eller wrister hit the crossbar just before the period ended.
Things started to get chippier in the second period, most notably with this Jeremy Lauzon-Ovechkin exchange that resulted in a penalty for the B’s blueliner.
TO OT WE GO
The third period began tied at two, and that’s precisely how it ended.
Neither side was able to generate too many Grade A chances, and so overtime was necessary.
DOWD WINS IT
Dowd played hero for the Caps.
A few minutes into the extra period, the Capitals cleared their defensive zone and got going on the breakout. Wilson fed Oshie with the pass, and he ripped a clapper from the point. Dowd did a fine job getting his stick on it, deflecting it past Rask for the winner.
The play was reviewed for offsides, but confirmed to be clean.
The Bruins and Capitals will meet for Game 2 on Monday. Puck drop from Capital One Arena is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. You can watch the game on NESN, with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30.