BOSTON – Over the course of a Stanley Cup playoff series, the iron will of a team to win becomes a quantifiable strength right along with goal-scoring, special teams or goaltending. And the Boston Bruins invoked their unflinching will on the Washington Capitals in impressive fashion on Wednesday night in an eventual 3-2 double-overtime win in Game 3 of their playoff series at TD Garden.
As with any overtime game, it could have gone either way with Tom Wilson pinging one off the crossbar in the third period amid some near misses for the Capitals in regulation. But by the time the overtime session rolled around it looked like the Capitals no longer had the lasting will to skate, compete or fight for the win while running out of competitive gas.
The Boston Bruins outshot the Capitals by a 17-5 margin in the first overtime session with a bevy of good scoring chances while controlling play, puck possession and keeping at the attack on young goalie Ilya Samsonov and the Capitals.
“It’s a second-effort league and that’s how you score,” said Bruce Cassidy. “In overtime we did a lot better job of that. They play a lot of man-to-man down low so take advantage of it if you have the skill set or the strength to do it, or if they’re fatigued. A lot of that comes into play over the course of a series as you’re trying to wear them down over the course of a game and a playoff series. That’s what we’re trying to do just like they’re trying to do to us with their big bodies.”
Ah yes, let’s get back to Samsonov.