Rapid Reaction: Bruins 4, Capitals 3

WASHINGTON -- With 1:53 remaining in regulation and Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals tied at 3-all, the Bruins’ Zdeno Chara scored during a 4-on-4 situation and Boston held on for a 4-3 victory.

The Bruins lead the series 2-1.

Chara’s shot from the right half-wall was redirected by the Capitals’ Roman Hamrlik past goalie Braden Holtby.

Unlike in the first two games of the series, there actually was a goal in the first period.

Unfortunately for the Bruins, it was Washington that capitalized. Chara was called for roughing at 15:31, and the Capitals took advantage of the power play when Alexander Semin scored at 16:00 to give Washington a 1-0 lead.

Boston responded 35 seconds into the second period when Holtby couldn’t handle a Rich Peverley shot as it trickled in to tie the game at 1.

That stalemate didn’t last long.

Only 13 seconds later, the Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin beat Tim Thomas to the glove side as Washington regained the lead 2-1.

Many times during this series, Boston’s energy line of Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille has created quality scoring chances. They finally were rewarded at 9:38 of the second period when Paille finished off a nice play and notched Boston’s second goal.

After scoring only two goals in the first two games, Boston wanted to get more traffic in front of Holtby. Enter Brian Rolston. The Bruins gained sustained pressure in the offensive zone early in the third period, and Rolston was camped in front the entire shift. He swatted home a rebound off a Chris Kelly wrister to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead at 1:02.

With Boston holding a one-goal lead, the Bruins’ Dennis Seidenberg was called for roughing at 10:17 of the third period. Boston’s penalty-killing unit did its job, but the Capitals’ Brooks Laich scored an even-strength goal at 14:00 to tie it at 3.

TURNING POINT: Thomas made the save of the game with 2:21 remaining in the second period. With the game knotted at 2, Washington was engaged in a solid forecheck when Jay Beagle had a point-blank chance from the slot, but Thomas quickly closed the five-hole and stifled the golden opportunity.

SWITCH UP: With the Bruins searching for offense, coach Claude Julien decided early in the game to switch his top centermen. Patrice Bergeron was shifted to the top line along with Milan Lucic and Rich Peverley, while David Krejci was put in the middle between Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin.

UP NEXT: The series resumes with Game 4 on Thursday at Verizon Center.