The Boston Bruins had their chance to lock up the No. 1 spot in the Atlantic Division on Monday night, but in a pre-playoff battle against the Washington Capitals, the offense was a no-show.

For just the second time this season, the Bruins were held scoreless through three periods of regulation — again, by the Capitals. Boston coughed up an opening-period score, giving Washington a quick 1-0 edge, however, the Bruins had a little fight in the tank offensively, squandering an elite defensive performance.

Boston’s lone bright spot — Jeremy Swayman — remained poised throughout the night, holding the Capitals at bay in the final two periods and he finished with 23 saves. But even keeping a comeback well within reach, Swayman’s efforts weren’t rewarded with any source of offensive firepower.

“They looked like a team that was fighting for a playoff spot. We looked like a team that was already in the playoffs, and that wasn’t good,” Charlie Coyle told reporters after Monday night’s 2-0 loss, per NESN. “We didn’t have our sense of urgency that we usually have when winning loose pucks, winning our battles, we didn’t do nearly enough of that.”

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Coyle added: “I just think they were more prepared and wanted it a little more than we did. That’s what it looked like out there.”

Capitals goalie Charle Lindgren stiff-armed Boston’s offensive push, keeping the Bruins off the net the entire night. The opportunities were limited, but that spoke more to Boston’s stagnant initiative to attack as opposed to allowing Washington to dictate their pace.

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“We had some looks but all in all, I didn’t think we were willing enough to work hard enough to create offense against a team that protects the middle of the ice,” Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage.

Here are more notes from Monday night’s Bruins-Capitals game:

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— Boston recorded a season-low 16 shots on goal.

— The Bruins have gone 5-2-0 in their last seven games, surrendering 2.14 goals with a plus-four goal differential.

— Pat Maroon recorded six hits, giving the 35-year-old 11 total in two games played with the Bruins.

— The Bruins will finish their regular season Tuesday night, hosting the Ottawa Senators for the third and final time before the playoffs. Puck drop from TD Garden is set for 7 p.m. ET, and you can catch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, live on NESN.

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Featured image via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images