Rapid Reaction: Capitals 2, Bruins 1
April, 19, 2012
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
WASHINGTON -- As this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals progresses, there's definitely a growing concern the Bruins' explosive offense has been stifled and coach Claude Julien is trying to figure out how to fix it.
For the third time in this series, Julien has tweaked his top two lines in a vain effort to find some much-needed chemistry.
Boston bombarded Washington goaltender Braden Holtby all night, but when the final buzzer sounded, the Capitals had a 2-1 win and the series is now tied at two games apiece. Holtby made 44 saves.
With the Bruins not able to produce more than one goal on 32 shots in the first two periods, Julien decided to tweak his top two lines again to start the third period.
Milan Lucic was back on the wing with David Krejci, along with fellow winger Tyler Seguin, while Patrice Bergeron was back with Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley.
The Bruins created chances but they couldn't get more than one by Holtby.
Washington took an early lead when Marcus Johansson finished off a 2-on-1 for a 1-0 advantage at 1:22 of the opening period. As the play developed in the neutral zone, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference was clearly interfered with by the Capitals' Alexander Ovechkin, but there was no call and Washington capitalized.
Boston responded later in the period to knot the game at 1-1 when Rich Peverley notched his second of the playoffs at 13:12. The Bruins outshot the Capitals 14-3 in the first period.
ANOTHER GOALIES' DUEL: The pace picked up drastically in the second period and both goaltenders made highlight-reel saves.
The game remained in a stalemate until the Bergeron was called for hooking with 2:07 remaining in the period. Washington gained a 2-1 lead while on the man-advantage when Alexander Semin unleashed a wicked shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Thomas to the high glove side at 18:43.
After two periods, Boston was still outshooting Washington 32-18, and Thomas made 14 saves in the second frame.
POWER-LESS: The Capitals stayed disciplined, and the Bruins had only one power play the entire game, and it din't come until midway through the third period with Washington holding a 2-1 lead. The Capitals' penalty-kill shut Boston down and the Bruins are now 0-for-12 on the man-advantage in this series. The Bruins were awful on the power play (8-for-48) during the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, but they still won the Cup.
UP NEXT: The series shifts back to Boston with the Bruins hosting Game 5 at TD Garden Saturday afternoon.