The Boston Bruins ended their newest win streak at two in a 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals that had a lot of similarities to their most recent game against the New York Rangers.
Much like that Rangers game, the Bruins began the game strongly but suddenly found themselves down two to nothing after quick goals from the other team. In this case, Alexander Semin and Matt Hendricks scored in 25 seconds. Soon after that, just like in the Rangers game, the Bruins took their timeout with the hopes of the short break re-energizing them.
At least three Bruins got the intended message from the timeout: Milan Lucic scored right before the end of the first period, assisted by Patrice Bergeron. Five minutes into the second period, Brad Marchand added another goal to tie the game, a result of great (if officially uncredited on the scoresheet) work by Jordan Caron to free the puck for Marchand to take.
Marchand’s tying goal wasn’t enough to give the Bruins sustained energy for the second, though. Instead, the team turned sluggish and undisciplined, taking all three penalties of the period, including two that sent Greg Zanon to the box. Washington shrewdly used the power play time to their advantage–both Zanon penalties led to goals.
Jay Beagle scored not long after Zanon’s first penalty expired. Lately the Bruins have been pretty good when shorthanded, with their 83.9% penalty kill rating good for seventh in the league, but the problem is in the first minute or two after the game returns to full strength. The penalty killers are tired and the team just isn’t as sharp.
Just as Zanon’s second penalty was going to expire, Brooks Laich extended the Capitals’ lead to 4-2. The visitors wanted to hold this lead, so they played a very conservative third period, but then Marchand and Caron helped Johnny Boychuk score twice in two games after going pointless for quite a while. Caron has been a very productive player lately and having him play alongside Marchand and Bergeron could produce more good things in future games.
After the game, coach Claude Julien said that games like this one are tough from the beginning if the Bruins give up the first goal or two.
“It’s tough to play catch up hockey in this league…that’s what we’ve been doing a lot,” he said to John Bishop.
Here are some facts about games like this one:
- According to NESN, the Bruins have a 4-7-2 record in matinee games this season.
- Before the game, Bishop said the Bruins were 6-9-0 against teams from the Southeastern Division. That record now increases, or decreases, to 6-10-0.
The Bruins take this loss with them to Pittsburgh for another matinee game on March 11 that will be shown on NBC.