WASHINGTON, DC – Highlighted by Brad Marchand’s shorthanded penalty shot, the Boston Bruins got off to a good 20 minutes and take a 2-0 lead over the Washington Capitals after 20 minutes. Zdeno Chara added his fourth of the season, while Dougie Hamilton tallied his second goal in as many games (on the power play no less) with 1:30 left in the period.
The Bruins are 9-0-0 when scoring the first goal, but this has to be their strongest opening 20 minutes of the season. Here are three observations from the first
1. What else needs to be said about Marchand’s season that hasn’t already? The Bruin with many monikers truly has a nose for the net and that showed when he created a shorthanded chance before Alex Ovechkin hooked him. The “Nose Face Killer” redeemed himself on the penalty shot recording his 12th of the year on a slick move that beat Braden Holtby 5-hole.
Marchand set a career-high in goals last season with 28. He could very well match or even surpass that total in this shortened season.
2. Although the interfernece call on Ovechkin late in the first period was indeed questionable at best, the Bruins found a way to capitalize on their first power play with Hamilton’s third of the season. In a matter of moments, the Bruins really put a stranglehold on the momentum. They have clearly been the better team in the opening 20 minutes. So much for a hangover effect from Sunday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, at least for the time being.
3. While he did not get the decision, gotta give credit to John Erskine for dropping the gloves with Shawn Thornton two seconds after Chara recorded his fourth of the season. With their slow start, the Caps need something to break right, and the decision could have paid dividends if he won the decision. But instead the energy stayed on the Bruins bench and the fans who made the trek down to DC.