For the 16th time in their last 17 meetings and the second time this season, the Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins Wednesday night in Washington D.C. with a 3-2 win. The Caps (24-5-5, 53 points), now lead the Bruins (20-7-6, 46 points) by seven points for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins have now lost four straight games for the first time this season, going 0-3-1 during that span.
T.J. Oshie scored two goals in a 3:20 span in the second period and John Carlson scored the game-winner for the Capitals at 4:42 of the third period. Carlson also assisted on Oshie’s first goal of the game. For the Bruins, David Pastrnak and Sean Kuraly lit the lamp.
Capitals goalie Braden Holtby was stellar between the pipes as he stopped 30 of 32 Bruins shots he faced and Jaro Halak was solid, stopping 22 of 25 Caps shots.
The Bruins had plenty of power play time in the loss but went 0-for-5 on the man advantage. The Capitals were 1-for-3.
After the Bruins were out-shot 4-1 in the first ten minutes of regulation, the game tilted in their favor just under the halfway mark of the opening frame. Marchand carried the puck through the neutral zone and found defenseman Charlie McAvoy activating into the play down the middle. McAvoy took the feed from Marchand, held it just long enough to draw more attention to him and leave the NHL’s most lethal scorer open for his 26th of the season as Pastrnak went short side and bar down.
Fresh Pasta, short side! 🍝 #WNH
— NHL (@NHL) December 12, 2019
The Bruins continued to carry the play for the rest of the period and appeared to have taken a 2-0 lead at 14:35 when forward Patrice Bergeron scored. The Capitals challenged the goal, claiming Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk was offsides when the play entred the Capitals zone and they were right as the game remained 1-0 Bruins. That goal would’ve been a powerplay tally by Bergeron, but the Bruins instead ended up 0-for-2 on the man advantage in the first period and 0-for-5 overall.
After the Bruins killed off a high-sticking call to Joakim Nordstrom at 19:26 of the first period, they failed to convert on the power play again after the Caps were called for too-many-men-on-the-ice at 1:31 of the second period. That kill seemed to shift the momentum back to the Washington side and at 4:35, with Bruins winger Chris Wagner in the sin-bin for interference, Oshie got the first of his two goals beating Halak for a powerplay goal and his 12th goal of the season, tying the game at one.
The goal was the result of a complete breakdown by the Bruins defense as both Brandon Carlo and Torey Krug played the puck along the boards and John Carlson found the seam to a breaking Oshie who backhanded it bar down and then tapped the puck in as it trickled on the line behind Halak.
Just 3:20 later, Oshie broke free again, splitting McAvoy and Connor Clifton and beating Halak for a highlight-reel goal. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jakub Vrana got the helpers on the play.
T.J. Oshie with a nasty goal against the Bruins pic.twitter.com/pbrSr0UTyr
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) December 12, 2019
The Bruins withstood the Capitals surge and kept the score 2-1 headed to the third period. After failing to score on a powerplay thanks to a Tom Wilson interference call, the Bruins tied the game on a Sean Kuraly tally just 34 seconds after the powerplay had ended. Kuraly tipped in a Torey Krug blast from the point for his third goal of the season at 2:53 of the final frame.
Sean Kuraly tip drill pic.twitter.com/G2aEEwKvOF
— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) December 12, 2019
Just 1:49 later though, the Capitals regained the lead when Carlson blasted a one-timer feed from Nicklas Backstrom at 4:42 of the final frame. Much like Pastrnak was, the league’s highest-scoring defenseman was left wide open in the sweet spot and had no problem beating a helpless Halak.
Ovechkin literally just spent this power play standing away from the play and taking one of the penalty killers with him to turn it into a 4v3.
Look at how much space John Carlson winds up with.. pic.twitter.com/RHifxnEnOL
— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) December 12, 2019