Tonight’s game between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals was the second meeting between the two clubs in less than a week. The Capitals beat the Bruins 4-2 on March 1 in a game that saw a poor effort on the part of Boston. It was a completely different story tonight as Boston played a disciplined, energized game and was rewarded with a 3-0 victory.
Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby had yet to be defeated by the Bruins in a regular season game, and it was easy to see why. Holtby made some huge saves for the Capitals, who were outshot by Boston 43-16, and more than gave his team a chance to win. The two goals that Holtby did give up – the third goal was on an empty net – were hard-earned for Boston.
Still, the real star of the night was the Bruins’ defense. This game was an example of the Boston blue line at its best. Defensively, Boston was layered so deep that the Capitals struggled to get any sort of offense going and were limited in scoring attempts. It will be interesting to see how trade deadline additions Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter fit into this skilled group of defense down the stretch.
To the credit of the Capitals, this was their second game in back-to-back road games, and it showed. Last night’s game against the Flyers left the Caps beaten and tired, and the Bruins took advantage of that at every turn. At this point in the season however, that’s just not a good enough excuse.
This game was the Bruins at their finest. Right from the first puck drop, the men in black and gold controlled the pace of the game. With tonight’s win, the Bruins are now just a point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference standings. If Boston continues to play at this level for the remainder of the season, they will be a very difficult team to beat.