An Alex Ovechkin goal less than a minute into overtime game the Capitals a 4-3 OT win and wiped out a great effort by the Boston Bruins to battle back from three goals down to push things into overtime. We’ll have more shortly…
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Washington Capitals by a 3-1 score at the Capital One Arena after 40 minutes of play.
- Good adjustment by Bruce Cassidy utilizing the five forward power play unit at the end of the second period with the Bruins badly in need of a goal. It was David Krejci’s point shot that initiated the power play goal and got things going for the Bruins playing in Matt Grzelcyk’s spot at the top of the high point.
- Nick Ritchie was credited with the power play goal standing in front as the puck bounced off his leg while camped on front of the net. Ritchie now has four power play goals in eight games for the Boston Bruins this season with pretty much all of them being scored right around the paint in front of the net. Ritchie had six power play goals in 267 games with the Anaheim Ducks spread out over five seasons.
- Tough play on a long-distance wrist shot from Trevor Riemsdyk that got through Jakub Zboril before it got past Tuukka Rask. It looked like Rask never saw the puck, and a soft wrist shot like that is absolutely the kind of attempt that Zboril needs to knock down when he’s patrolling the shooting lanes in front of the Boston net.
- Trent Frederic and Tom Wilson getting into it a few times throughout the game thus far. In the last exchange Frederic finishing off a check and then gave Wilson a quick cross-check afterward for good measure. Wilson wasn’t interested in dancing with Frederic because the Capitals were winning 3-0 at the time, but it’s pretty clear the Bruins aren’t the small pushover team against Washington anymore.
- Tuukka Rask certainly hasn’t been great tonight. The Bruins defensemen aren’t doing him any favors while screening him or not bodying shots at times, but he also hasn’t looked particularly good after taking a whole day away from the ice completely on Friday ahead of this game. Maybe a little practice would have been helpful?
Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Boston Bruins trailing the Washington Capitals by a 1-0 score at the Capital One Arena after 20 minutes of play.
- Zdeno Chara led all players with 8:33 of ice time in the first period and had a whopping five blocked shots, but he also paid the price at the end of the first period. Chara had a David Pastrnak pass ride up his stick blade and rocket right into his face on the nasty deflection. Chara went down and then exited early for the Capitals dressing room with the Bruins still on the power play at the end of the first period.
Bad luck for Chara here — as Pastrnak’s pass deflects off his stick and hits him in the face. pic.twitter.com/M1fIJVwIl0
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) January 31, 2021
All in a solid period of play for the longtime Boston Bruins captain against his former teammates.
- The Bruins outshoot the Capitals by a 19-7 margin and control long stretches of play, but still find themselves trailing by a 1-0 score against Washington. It’s been the same story for the last 10 years for the B’s against the Capitals. It was a great individual play by Nicklas Backstrom winning a one-on-one battle by the B’s defensive blue line, and then he sped into the high slot and buried a perfect shot over Tuukka Rask’s glove hand for the game’s only goal. That was an All-World play from Backstrom.
- Five shot attempts for David Pastrnak in 6:44 of ice time in the first period while not looking all that rusty. Pastrnak did have three of those five shot attempts get blocked and he didn’t get off any ripped shots during the opening 20 minutes, but he was right in the mix of everything in a high tempo period of play. He also got belted over the boards and into the Capitals bench by Garnet Hathaway at one point, so he should be fully invested into the game at this point.
- Similarly, Karson Kuhlman had three shot attempts and a hit in a little over five minutes of ice time in the first period and looked good despite not getting into any NHL game action before now.
- Jeremy Lauzon is now a minus-5 to start this season while playing in Zdeno Chara’s spot alongside Charlie McAvoy as a top defenseman pairing. That’s something to keep in mind as the Bruins continue to go through the early going with their youth movement on the back end, and may be looking to upgrade at some point if they don’t start getting some more stabilized play on the back end.