The Boston Bruins picked up a come from behind victory against the Washington Capitals in overtime to tie their first round series up at one apiece. Brad Marchand netted the winner just 39 seconds into overtime, and was one of four Bruins to score as Boston picked up a 4-3 win. It was a huge victory to say the least, as the Bruins were just a couple of moments away from staring at a 2-0 series deficit, but were able to flip things around really quickly and save their own skin, and turned this into a best of five series now.
This game was fast paced from the start, with both teams getting numerous chances right out of the gate. Jake DeBrusk would strike first for the second straight game for Boston, as he poked home a feed from Charlie Coyle off of a beautiful play in which he completely faked out Craig Anderson, leaving DeBrusk wide open in front of the net.
The Caps would tie it right back up less than 90 seconds later on the power play, as T.J. Oshie had a perfect deflection off of a shot from Alex Ovechkin that went right over Tuuka Rask. It was another tough shot for Rask, as the Capitals have done a great job of getting bodies in front of the net and putting some deflections on net that Rask really can’t do anything about. The tie game wouldn’t last long, as Patrice Bergeron would give the B’s the lead right back on an absolute snipe off of a pass from David Pastrnak. It was one of Pasta’s only good plays on the night, as he made a leaping play to glove down an airborne puck and keep it in Washington’s zone, and then quickly evaded a Capitals defender before dishing to Bergy. The Caps would tie it up before the period ended off yet another deflection, this time off of the stick of Garnet Hathaway.
The second period maintained the frantic pace of play, but saw no pucks light up the lamp. There were some really great chances on both ends of the ice, but neither side could put one home. There was some really great play from both goalies, as both Rask and Anderson recovered from their rough first periods and held down the fort for their respective sides. It was an extremely chippy period, as it felt like there was somebody in the penalty box for most of the period. Typically it would result in four on four play, as there weren’t as many power plays as you’d expect from all the penalties. Either way, the game was tied 2-2 heading into the third period for the second game in a row.
Things didn’t go great for Boston at the start of the third, as the Caps came out firing, and Boston quickly went to the kill twice early on. They made the kill both times, but right after the second kill, Kevan Miller pinched too high on his own blue line, leading to a 2-1 rush which was eventually buried by Hathaway for his second goal of the night. It was a poor read by Miller on a night in which he struggled, and almost ended up killing the B’s.
But the Bruins weren’t done yet. They upped the ante from here on out and had some really good chances, but Anderson continued to thwart any shot Boston threw his way. Eventually Taylor Hall made a beautiful run down the left hand side of the ice and made a pass to Craig Smith in front of Anderson, and chaos ensued in front of the goal. Eventually Hall looped around the backside of the net, and found the puck in front of him, and just barely slid it across the red line underneath Anderson’s blocker, tying the game up and eventually forcing overtime.
Overtime wouldn’t last long, as Brad Marchand would net the winner 39 seconds into the period. David Krejci kept an attempted clearance in the Capitals zone, and passed it across to Matt Grzelcyk, who then passed it back across to Marchand, who was camping at the right circle and fired it right past Anderson’s left blocker for the win, tying the series at 1-1.
It goes without saying this is a huge win for Boston. A 1-1 series is a lot more favorable than a 2-0 deficit, and this series certainly looks a lot more favorable for Boston now as it heads back to TD Garden. They made a concerned effort all night long to keep firing pucks at Anderson in net, as they had 48 shots on net, and it eventually paid off with two late goals. Anderson was pretty solid for most of the night, but the Bruins eventually found a way to break him down and pick up the win.
The defense was a little suspect this game, but they were helped out by a great performance from Rask in net. The three goals on Rask weren’t really his fault, as they came off deflections and a rush where Rask was defenseless to the shot from Hathaway. Rask was at his best in the third when the Bruins were on the kill, as he made a couple of key saves that prevented the Caps from converting on their power plays in the period. Rask has gotten some heat for allowing three goals in each game, but he’s been a big reason there hasn’t been more goals scored by Washington in the two games so far.
The series now kicks back out to Boston for two games, and the Bruins have a chance now to pick up the momentum in this series. They will need to sharpen up some aspects of their game, such as the overall defensive play, and the power play really needs to be tuned up if a deep playoff run is in store. If Boston can pick up a win on Wednesday they will have good control of the series.
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