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Game 81 at Boston Bruins (W 3-1)

April 8 2017 at 2:30 PM

Marc  (Login marc_mehdi)
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Preview: Capitals at Bruins

Boston can claim second in Atlantic; Washington aiming for strong finish heading to playoffs

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

CAPITALS (54-18-8) at BRUINS (44-30-7)

3 p.m. ET; NBC, NHL.TV


Capitals team scope

The Washington Capitals have clinched the Presidents' Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but coach Barry Trotz does not want to see them let up in their final two regular-season games. "I said three things to the guys after the skate [Friday]: Be on the plane [to Boston], let's make sure we play right, and let's finish strong," Trotz said. The Capitals have won three straight and are 9-1-0 in their past 10 games. "You want to feel confident going into the playoffs. I think that's the biggest thing," Trotz said. "We've played some very meaningful games, we played them the right way, and we've gotten good results. I think that's really helped the confidence. ... You just want to be committed to getting ready for the playoffs. You'll probably have three or four days after we're done [with the regular season], so you don't want to just shut it down and then things cool down for six, seven days and then crank it up again." Defenseman John Carlson will miss his third straight game with a lower-body injury. Forward Brett Connolly didn't practice Friday and is out with an illness. Goaltender Braden Holtby will start. He is 11-2-0 with a .945 save percentage and 1.80 goals-against average against the Boston Bruins. The Capitals finish the regular season at home against the Florida Panthers on Sunday.


Bruins team scope

Boston can guarantee a top-three finish in the Atlantic Division with a win. The third-place Bruins, 6-0-1 in their past seven games, lead the Toronto Maple Leafs by two points and trail the second-place Ottawa Senators by one point; Ottawa and Toronto each has one game in hand. The Senators host the New York Rangers on Saturday, and the Maple Leafs are home against the Pittsburgh Penguins. With 42 regulation/overtime wins, Boston holds the first tiebreaker over Ottawa (37) and Toronto (38). "We want to win -- I believe that would make us second or third," coach Bruce Cassidy said. "That's our goal; we'll see how it plays out." Forward Brad Marchand will serve the second of his two-game suspension for spearing Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin on Tuesday. Defenseman Torey Krug is day to day with a lower-body injury sustained in the first period of a 2-1 shootout loss to the Senators on Thursday. "Well we're not going to be able to replace what he does. He's a special talent," Cassidy said. "The onus will be on us [Saturday] to just make sure we make the necessary reads on our breakout." Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin will attempt to win his seventh consecutive start.


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Paul Carey -- Lars Eller -- Andre Burakovsky

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- Nate Schmidt

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Taylor Chorney

Injured: John Carlson (lower body), Brett Connolly (illness)


Bruins projected lineup

Frank Vatrano -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Backes

Drew Stafford -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak

Sean Kuraly -- Ryan Spooner -- Matt Beleskey

Dominic Moore -- Riley Nash -- Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

John-Michael Liles -- Adam McQuaid

Kevan Miller -- Colin Miller

Anton Khudobin

Tuukka Rask

Scratched: Joe Morrow

Injured: Jimmy Hayes (lower body), Tim Schaller (lower body), Torey Krug (lower body), Noel Acciari (upper body)


Status report

Carey, a native of nearby Weymouth, Massachusetts, will play his first NHL game in his hometown. ... Acciari was injured Thursday and is day to day. Cassidy said he wasn't sure who would replace Acciari, but Forsbacka-Karlsson could make his NHL debut. He left Boston University after his sophomore season and signed his entry-level contract last Sunday. "I'm ready to go, absolutely," Forsbacka-Karlsson said. "But that's obviously going to be up to the coaches."


Who's hot

Backstrom has 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in his past 13 games. ... Johansson has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) in his past eight games. ... Oshie has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in his past 10 games. ... Pastrnak has 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) in his past 21 games.


    
This message has been edited by marc_mehdi on Apr 9, 2017 8:12 AM


 
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Marc
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 3:04 PM 


 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 3:35 PM 

4:21 in, 2-on-2, Williams to Johansson, who beats the goalie in a great way. 1-0 Caps!

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 3:36 PM 

It's actually Grubauer in goal, not Holtby like announced. So you were right about this game too.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 4:01 PM 

Caps on the PP with 4:50 remaining in the period.

 
 

Marc
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 4:04 PM 

Caps had a good chance, but mostly good job by the Bruins (#1 PK in the league). Killed.


    
This message has been edited by marc_mehdi on Apr 9, 2017 8:08 AM


 
 

Marc
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 4:07 PM 

End of the first period. 1-0 Caps.

 
 

Marc
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 4:40 PM 

Another PP for the Caps, scoreless again, but not bad at all.

 
 

Marc
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 4:43 PM 

Terrible hit from behind on Wilson, Beagle jumps on the Bruin who did that. I guess there will be a PP for the Caps after the break, but Beagle and a second Bruin may get roughing penalties too.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 4:49 PM 

A PP, indeed, but for the Bruins. Beagle and Wilson in the box.

Killed, fortunately, since it was originally a bad hit on Wilson. Caps must go easy on retaliations. This one was certainly not positive.

And now Kuznetsov to the box, but this time it's deserved.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 4:53 PM 

Just when I was about to say Grubauer was strong and looked like shutout, Bruins score! But the net moved at the same time. Under review.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 4:56 PM 

It's Orpik who sent a Bruin into the post, so the goal is confirmed.

1-1.

The goal had barely moved when the puck hit the back of the net, anyway.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 4:58 PM 

And as I'm typing that, Shattenkirk scores!!!

Under review, though, for the same reason. But it's Chara who lifted the net on the other side. It didn't change anything to the side where the puck ended.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 5:00 PM 

It's a goal too. 2-1 Caps.

Only one of the three into a stable net, hehe.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 5:04 PM 

Wow, Shattenkirk again! Hard shot through several guys in front. Sign this guy already.

Coach's challenge for potential goalie interference.

The decision: no goal.

Williams is laughing but he must be upset. He didn't really interfere.

So we're still at 2-1 Caps.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 5:11 PM 

Williams has just found some comfort, with a great goal!!!

3-1 Caps.

Perfect pass by Kuznetsov, and a shot by Williams between the legs of a d-man and the goalie.

Announcer: "Well, he smiles again, this time, but not sarcastically."

 
 

crowesnest
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Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins

April 8 2017, 7:02 PM 

lol I had no idea this was a 3:00 game... slept right through it.

"See" you tomorrow! happy.gif

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
Forum Moderator

Re: Game 81 at Boston Bruins (W 3-1)

April 9 2017, 8:37 AM 

Hehehe. happy.gif

I was on the phone during the third period, but there was no scoring. The Bruins' goalie Khudobin had won 6 in a row before this game; he was replaced for the last 20 minutes by Rask, who stopped the 7 shots he had to face.

Not such a perfect game for the Caps. Moments of brilliance, but also moments where they didn't play hard enough. Shots were 32-22 Caps, and hits were 26-19 Bruins (logically, because you hit more when you're defending, in general). But 16 giveaways for the Caps (7 for the Bruins), 42% at faceoffs only, and 0/4 on the PP. Can do better. Orpik and Orlov were -1 (both are among the best in the league for +/-, though, respectively 4th and 6th), Schmidt (who got an assist) was +3.

Later yesterday, the Leafs beat the Pens 5-3. Matthews scored his 40th of the season into an empty net with 3.4 seconds left. So for now the Leafs are ahead of the Bruins, but only because the first tie breaker when the season is ongoing is the fewer number of games (Bruins are done playing, Leafs have one game left). They're tied in points (95) but the Bruins have won 42 in regulation or overtime, and the Leafs only 39. So the Leafs need one point to finish 3rd in the Atlantic.

If the Leafs lose their last game in regulation, they'll face the Caps in the first round of the playoffs. If not, the Bruins will face the Caps. (I found that out by myself, so I hope I'm not wrong, hehe.)


    
This message has been edited by marc_mehdi on Apr 9, 2017 8:43 AM


 
 
 
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