Saturday, April 21, 2012
Rapid reaction: Capitals 4, Bruins 3
By James Murphy
BOSTON --- The defending Stanley Cup champions are on the brink of elimination after losing Game 5 to the Capitals 4-3 at TD Garden on Saturday. The Bruins fought back twice to tie the game, but in the end it was the Capitals who would score the final goal when Troy Brouwer scored a power-play goal with 1:27 left in regulation to take a 3-2 series lead.
Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk and Brad Marchand all had a goal and an assist for the Bruins, but it wasn’t enough, as Caps goalie Braden Holtby was once again up to the task, making 34 saves. Alexander Semin, Jay Beagle and Mike Knuble had the other goals for Washington, while Tim Thomas made 28 saves.
Thomas and Holtby in another goalies’ duel -- Goaltenders Thomas and Holtby continued their duel in Game 5, and it was once again the rookie Holtby outshining the veteran Thomas. Holtby made 34 saves and Thomas made 28. But Thomas probably wants the Brouwer game winner back, as he looked out of position on the goal and normally would snare that one.
Seidenberg MVP for Bruins thus far -- Bruins defenseman Seidenberg has to be the MVP for the Bruins thus far in the playoffs. The German rearguard has shadowed Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin almost perfectly thus far in a hard-fought one-on-one battle between the two. Seidenberg was averaging 26:56 on the ice per game, and on Saturday he got the Bruins going with a second-period goal to cut the Caps’ lead to 2-1 at the time. He also assisted on the game-tying goal by Boychuk 8:47 into the third period. Seidenberg is doing it all for the Bruins.
Marchand and Seguin improve -- After being demoted in the depth chart at practice Friday and being called on by their coach to play better, Tyler Seguin and Marchand had more jump in their game. Marchand finished with a goal and an assist. And while Seguin didn’t register on the score sheet, he played a much better game, creating chances for himself and his teammates.
Power play finally comes through -- Boychuk scored the Bruins’ first power-play goal of the series when he tied the game at 1 at 8:47 of the third period. The Bruins were 1-for-3 in the game and are now 1-for-15 on the power play in the series.
Quick strikes do it again for Bruins -- The second-period goals by Seidenberg and Marchand came 28 ticks apart. It was the eighth time this season that the Bruins have scored two goals in a minute.
Bergeron and Corvo battle injuries -- Patrice Bergeron and Joe Corvo suffered unspecified injuries and missed long intervals of the game. Corvo blocked a shot just prior to the Capitals’ first goal in the second period, and Bergeron took two hard hits early in the third period and played intermittently for the remainder of the game. No word on their condition.
Marchand returns to second line; Seguin stays on third -- After being sent down to the fourth line in practice Friday, Marchand was back skating with Bergeron and Rich Peverley on the second line in Game 5. Seguin, however, remained on the third line with Chris Kelly and Benoit Pouliot.
Here’s what the lineup looked like:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Brian Rolston
Brad Marchand -Patrice Bergeron-Rich Peverley
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Tyler Seguin
Daniel Paille -Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Greg Zanon-Joe Corvo