Yet again, 60 minutes weren’t enough for the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins to settle game 2 of their playoff series. Hell, it took over 80 minutes this time. In game 1 the Bruins won off of a Chris Kelly slap shot from the wall. This time around, however, it was Nicklas Backstrom that put the puck in the back of the net in the second overtime to send this series to Washington tied at one apiece.
Who is this Braden Holtby character? He has been phenomenal in his first two playoff games of his career. In two games, he has given up two goals, and leads the league in GAA (.83) and save percentage (.973) in the playoffs. Not too shabby for a third string goalie that everybody wrote off before the series started. He has better stats than the man he’s facing in Tim Thomas. That’s right, last year’s Conn Smythe, Vezina, and Stanley Cup Champion Tim Thomas.
That’s not to say Thomas hasn’t been stellar in the first two games as well. He too has only allowed two goals in the first two games, and he kept the Bruins in the game today.
The offense finally showed up tonight for the Capitals. Troy Brouwer banged home a goal for the Capitals first goal of the series after Alex Ovechkin threw a puck at the net. Backstrom then stepped up in the second overtime and fired a rocket past Thomas’ shoulder to end the game. The Capitals had 39 shots on net, which was 22 more than they had in just over 60 minutes in game 1. If the Capitals want to battle through and beat the Bruins, they will have to keep throwing pucks on net.
The defense has shown up in both games of this series and has looked much better than they have all season. John Carlson and Roman Hamrlik played exceptionally well in front of the young netminder again. Dennis Wideman, who you could argue for being responsible for both Bruins goals of the series, saved the would be winning goal in the first overtime, so hes good in our book again. Mike Green and Karl Alzner stepped their game up again today and will be a force to be reckoned with. Jeff Schultz looked like his normal self, as usual, so I’m looking for Dmitri Orlov to make an appearance in this series soon.
This game kept the Capitals alive in this series, and they’re very capable of winning both games at home coming up. If they do, they may be the one team everybody wrote off to advance to the second round. Be sure to check in for all of your Capitals stories throughout the playoffs here.
The series shifts to Washington on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. The Verizon center will be rocking and so will I. Rock the Red! Let’s Go Caps!
Follow Matthew on twitter @Geiser19.