Comeback, But No Clincher as Bruins Lose 3-2 to Capitals in Shootout

Two points were all that stood between the Boston Bruins and the possibility of getting that x signifying a clinched playoff spot. All they needed was to win in any form–regulation, overtime or shootout–for that extra letter. But their opponents, the Washington Capitals, are hungry to get into the playoffs at all and perhaps they were just hungrier in this game. The Bruins lost 3-2 in a shootout, so they did earn one point, but not the necessary two.

The first two periods were mostly unexciting. There weren’t too many shots on goal from either side–Washington had two and Boston had seven during the first, and it was seven and eight respectively in the second. The one notable event was when Jason Chimera hit Adam McQuaid at about 14 minutes of the first period. Chimera came off the bench as McQuaid was heading behind Boston’s net alone to get the puck. On TV it looked like Chimera appeared out of nowhere to deliver the hard hit, but later it was revealed how far he’d come to hit McQuaid, who left the game early after a struggle to get his bearings. Chimera received a five-minute major and a game misconduct, also ending his night early.

After the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien weighed in on the hit and provided an update on McQuaid’s status. “[Chimera] came off the bench, and he was going hard, and maybe it was a little bit reckless, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it wasn’t intentional,” he said. “It was a tough one, but certainly wasn’t intent to injure by the player.” He added that McQuaid had a cut on his eyebrow and wasn’t feeling right, so the medical staff held him out as a precaution. More information about how he is feeling will come later.

In the third period, the Bruins were suddenly down 0-2 when Dennis Wideman (a former Bruin!) and Marcus Johansson (who scored a hat trick against the Bruins in January!) found the back of Tim Thomas‘ net. They seemed deflated, back to their old ways, but a late-period surge of two quick goals by David Krejci and Andrew Ference tied things up, necessitating extra time. It took a four-round shootout for Brooks Laich to secure the win and muddle up Thomas’ perfect shootout record.

Plus, with Dennis Seidenberg out due to an infected wound, the decision was made to play Joe Corvo instead. I wondered if this was the right choice and still don’t think it was. He hadn’t played since the 6-2 loss to the Florida Panthers. Since then, the Bruins put together five wins and just one loss. It is true that he was not on the ice for either of Washington’s goals in this game, but Corvo is mistake-prone on the ice. There are other defensive options for the Bruins, too. Mike Mottau hasn’t played since March 10 and Torey Krug has yet to play. Maybe give Mottau a chance against his old team or let Krug play one of the few chances he will have this season? Krug especially seems like a good choice, eager as he is and with a proven record of doing well.

Next up for the Bruins are the New York Islanders on March 31. The Islanders just beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in both halves of a home-and-home. It’s important that the Bruins don’t underestimate this team.

Fun Sidebar: During the second intermission, NESN aired the first episode of The Bear and the Gang. See it here:

http://youtu.be/jHHzZD8SEto

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