Rapid Reaction: Capitals 2, B's 1 (2 OT)
April, 14, 2012
By James Murphy | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- Nicklas Backstrom scored 2:56 into double overtime and Braden Holtby made 43 saves to lead the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, tying the series at one.
The Bruins' Benoit Pouliot scored 12:13 into the third period to send the game to overtime, and Troy Brouwer scored the Capitals' first goal. Tim Thomas made 38 saves for the Bruins in the losing effort.
The series now shifts to Washington for Game 3 on Monday and Game 4 on Thursday.
Third line playing like top line -- Heading into the playoffs, Bruins coach Claude Julien said his team would need scoring depth to make another run at the Stanley Cup, and he is getting just that from the third line of Pouliot, Chris Kelly and Brian Rolston. With Pouliot’s game-tying goal in the third period, this trio has accounted for all six points and both goals by the Bruins in the series. The unit has been not only a reliable defensive line, but a scoring threat as well.
Goalies duel again -- Thomas and Holtby again were stellar between the pipes. While Thomas had a playoff shutout streak of 161:37 snapped with Brouwer’s second-period goal, the Bruins netminder did what he had to do to keep the Bruins in the game. Likewise, Holtby was very solid and extremely well positioned to the shooter. But both goalies probably would like the first goals they let in back. Thomas failed to cover up the puck (and didn’t get proper assistance from defenseman Greg Zanon) on the Brouwer goal, and Holtby came out to play a loose puck and was beaten by Pouliot, who barreled over him in the process. In overtime, both goalies were great but Holtby made one more big save than Thomas. Holtby has been the story of the series, making 72 saves in his first two career playoff games.
Capitals aren’t backing down -- One of the question marks heading into Game 2 was whether the Capitals would change up their approach of playing a tight defensive game and applying plenty of physical pressure up front on the forecheck, and instead open up their game with their offensive skill. In Game 2, they did open up a bit but they did so by feeding off their forecheck. The Caps were very aggressive and physical, which allowed them to play both styles. Coach Dale Hunter apparently has decided that if his team is going to upset the Bruins in this series, his team will beat them at their own game.
Power failure again but PK comes up big -- This has been a series of inches, and every chance the Capitals or Bruins get has been crucial. That’s why it is essential the Bruins get their power play going. Boston was 0-for-2 on the man-advantage in Game 2 and was 0-for-6 in the first two games. But the penalty kill has been clutch and again held the Caps’ power play off the scoreboard. Washington was 0-for-3 in Game 2 and is 0-for-5 in the series.
Krejci plays; Rask and McQuaid still out -- Bruins center David Krejci was back in the lineup after he was hit by a pane of glass that fell from the Garden boards during the celebration following Game 1. Krejci, who said he had a sore neck from the strange incident, was back between Milan Lucic and Rich Peverley. Defenseman Adam McQuaid (upper body) and goalie Tuukka Rask (groin) remained out.
Here’s what the lineup looked like to start the game:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Rich Peverley
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Brian Rolston
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Greg Zanon-Joe Corvo