The Boston Bruins had to play with five defensemen for the final two periods and never got their powerplay going in a 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals Sunday.
With the loss, the Boston Bruins (45-22-5, 95 pts), concluded their four-game road trip at 2-2-0 and headed home to Boston still up by a point on the Tampa Bay Lightning (43-20-8, 94 pts), who were set to play Buffalo Sabres at 5 PM ET Sunday night.
After out-playing the Capitals for a large portion of the first period, the Boston Bruins found themselves down 1-0 to 4:11 into the second period on a John Carlson goal. Just 3:44 later though, the offense finally clicked for the Boston Bruins as Curtis Lazar and Erik Haula scored exactly one-minute apart to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. The Capitals tied the game 5:55 later though when Tom Wilson beat Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark for his 23rd goal of the year off a sick feed from Lars Eller.
Eller struck again 7:18 into the third period to give the Capitals a 3-2 lead over the Bruins. The Bruins never seemed to find that extra gear after the Eller goal and Alexander Ovechkin sealed the game with an empty-netter for his 45th of the season with two seconds left in regulation.
GOLD STAR: Lars Eller – The former Montreal Canadiens center scored the game-winning goal and assisted on the game-tying tally. Lars Eller was an energy maker out there Sunday and constantly entered the offensive zone with passion and authority.
— nopClips (@nopClips) April 10, 2022
BLACK EYE: Bruins Powerplay – While losing Matt Grzelcyk after just one period and having to play the final two frames with just five defensemen was clearly a black eye, the Boston Bruins still had plenty of opportunities to seize control of this game on the powerplay. Unfortunately for them, they were seemingly lifeless on the man-advantage and finished 0-for-4. Obviously Grzelcyk’s absence on the powerplay hurt but there was till no excuse for the lack of purpose and creativity on the powerplay Sunday.
TURNING POINT: Lars Eller GWG
— Capitals Replays (@capsreplays) April 10, 2022
HONORABLE MENTION: Charlie McAvoy – Charlie McAvoy seems to be getting Honorable Mention a lot lately and it makes wonder if maybe he should be a Gold Star more often? McAvoy was an offensive beast in the first period with two shots, a point-blank scoring shot and plenty of sauce that should have led to goals for the Boston Bruins. The Bruins defenseman and border-line Norris Trophy candidate finished with three shots, four hits and a blocked shot as he had to compensate for Matt Grzelcyk’s absence and play a game-leading 28:18.
BY THE NUMBERS: 28:18 – McAvoy’s time on ice in another beast-mode game.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “Obviously missed his puck moving back there. It was a big, big, big factor in the game: our inability to transition very well. It cost us in the end.” – Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy on how the Bruins missed Grzelcyk after he left the game with an upper-body injury in the first period.