Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 4-3 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals and the old friend Zdeno Chara at Capital One Arena on Saturday night.
GOLD STAR: Alex Ovechkin certainly couldn’t have been too happy about sitting out the last four games due to COVID-19 protocols, and he showed it with the way he performed against the Bruins on Saturday night. Ovie was solid and strong throughout the game, and then he exploded with a bullet wrist shot in overtime that beat Tuukka Rask for the overtime game-winner.
— Hockey Daily 365 (@HockeyDaily365) January 31, 2021
Ovechkin finished with a goal and two points in 13:56 of ice time along with four shot attempts and five hits. Considering he hadn’t been able to practice or take part in any team activities over the last couple of weeks, Ovechkin was excellent just parachuting into tonight’s game against the Bruins. It probably shouldn’t be all that surprising, though, because he’s still one of the best hockey players in the world. Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom (1 goal, two points) did a whole lot of the damage against the Boston Bruins in this one.
BLACK EYE: The Bruins outshot the Capitals 43-23 and lost in overtime while giving up four goals, so clearly, they didn’t get a dominant performance from Tuukka Rask. He was beaten cleanly on his glove hand by Nicklas Backstrom in the first period and then again in the high slot in overtime by Alex Ovechkin on a blocker side bullet. He was partially screened on a couple other goals, but one of them was a wobbly wrist shot from Trevor van Riemsdyk that was thrown at the net from deep out by the blue line. Certainly, it felt like Rask didn’t have his “A” game in allowing four goals on 23 shots including a couple of Washington scores where he was just cleanly beaten with shots. It was absolutely Rask’s worst game of the season coming off the Bruins goalie tweaking something during in his last appearance vs. the Penguins on Tuesday night.
TURNING POINT: The key moment was the Bruins scoring the power play goal in the final minutes of the second period to make it a 3-1 hockey game. That was a PP score for Nick Ritchie camped in front as a David Krejci point shot bounced off his leg on its way to the back of the net. It was Ritchie’s fourth power play goal of the season in eight games after he had six PP goals in nearly 300 games played with the Anaheim Ducks over the previous five seasons. Once the Bruins had closed things to within two goals headed into the second intermission, things were in place for the Boston Bruins to make a run at overtime and secure an all-important point in the East Division. That’s exactly what the Bruins did while giving Zdeno Chara his victorious night in his first meeting against his longtime former team.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brad Marchand wasn’t going to let the Boston Bruins fold against the Washington Capitals, so he pushed hard in the third period rally that resulted in Boston scoring a pair to force overtime. Marchand’s goal was a nice play cutting to the front of the net to receive a Charlie McAvoy dish from Wayne Gretzky’s office behind the net. The goal made it a 3-2 game and set up McAvoy’s last-minute heroics with the goalie pulled to push things into overtime. Marchand finished with a goal and a plus-1 in 19:36 of ice time, had a team-high six shots on net and 12 shot attempts overall to go along with a takeaway. Marchand was one of several Bruins players that weren’t going to let Boston go down easily after they fell behind by a three-goal deficit in the game.
BY THE NUMBERS: 708 – the goal number for Alex Ovechkin on the OT winner, which puts him into a tie with Mike Gartner for seventh place all-time on the NHL goal-scoring list. Ovechkin now stands just nine goals behind Phil Esposito in the prestigious list.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We shouldn’t have lost this game. We’re not going to hang our heads by any means. We did a great job coming back. We just have to keep building on that. If we play like we did tonight we’re going to win a lot more than we’re going to lose.” –Brad Marchand, clearly taking the glass half-full approach to the overtime loss where the Bruins came back from three goals down against the Washington Capitals.