Rapid reaction: Bruins 4, Capitals 1

October, 21, 2010
10/21/10
9:39
PM ET
BOSTON -- Here are some thoughts after the Boston Bruins completely dominated the Washington Capitals en route to a 4-1 victory in the home opener at TD Garden, improving to 4-1-0 this season:

GOALTENDING: After the Bruins’ morning skate Thursday at the Garden, all indications were that Tuukka Rask would start between the pipes. Coach Claude Julien, however, was noncommittal and told the local media with a smile, “You’ll have to wait until 7 o’clock.” When the Bruins came out for pregame warm-ups, it was Tim Thomas leading the way. The veteran netminder finished with 38 saves and is 4-0 this season. Despite having offseason hip surgery, he has shown no ill effects. In fact, it’s been the complete opposite. He’s been solid during practices and it has translated into the games. It’s obvious the former Vezina Trophy winner, as the league’s top goaltender, is motivated once again.

SOLID HOME DEBUT FOR SEGUIN: Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin spent the afternoon at an Italian restaurant in the North End. He spent the night burning off those carbs in his debut on Garden ice. During pregame introduction ceremonies, the 18-year-old centerman received one of the loudest ovations, and he didn’t disappoint with his performance. He was efficient in all areas of the ice and helped give the Bruins the early lead. In transition through the neutral zone, he kept his legs moving and drew a tripping penalty on the Capitals’ Matt Hendricks at 18:06 of the first period. That extra effort by Seguin gave the Bruins their first power play of the game and they capitalized when Michael Ryder scored at 19:32 with assists going to Patrice Bergeron and Seguin to give Boston a 1-0 lead. Per league rules, the Bruins have a 10-game window to decide whether to keep the No. 2 overall draft pick in Boston, or send him back to juniors. With the way Seguin is playing, it’s a safe bet he’ll remain in a Bruins sweater.

SOLID HOME DEBUT PART 2: Boston’s youth movement has provided a major spark in the Bruins’ lineup already, and rookie Jordan Caron has been another key component. He entered the home opener with one goal and one assist in three games (he did not play in the season opener in Prague). He netted his first NHL goal earlier this week against the New Jersey Devils and future Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur. Caron notched his second tally of the season at 2:22 of the second period tonight to give Boston a 3-0 lead over the Capitals.

SOLID HOME DEBUT PART 3: The biggest offseason addition for the Bruins was veteran forward Nathan Horton, and he has been tremendous in the first five games of the season. He notched a power-play goal at 12:16 of the second period when his slap shot from slot beat Capitals goaltender Semyon Varlamov through the five-hole to give Boston a 3-0 advantage. He has points in all five games. Horton’s the type of player who if he’s surrounded by talented play-makers, he’ll make everyone around him better. That’s exactly what’s happening. The Bruins’ top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Horton has combined for 19 points so far.

POWER SURGE: The Bruins focused on the power play this week at practice and it paid dividends tonight. Boston entered the game 2-for-15 on the man-advantage this season, but scored three power-play goals against the Capitals. The Bruins used crisp passing and completely dominated Washington’s penalty-killing unit that had been a perfect 25-for-25 this season until the Bruins’ Michael Ryder notched a power-play goal at 19:32 of the first period. Horton’s goal at 12:16 of the second also came on the man-advantage. Zdeno Chara added Boston's fourth goal, another power-play goal in the waning seconds of the game for a 4-1 final.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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