The Boston Bruins wouldn’t mind if the Washington Capitals packed their bags and left the National Hockey League for good.
After the Capitals erased deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 Thursday night in Washington, the Bruins have dropped their last 12 against Alex Ovechkin and company.
Both the Bruins (coming off a 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators) and Capitals (fresh off a 1-0 shootout loss to the New York Rangers) did not disappoint in their second game(s) of a back to back.
The first period belonged to the Bruins, with the second owned by the Capitals as the teams traded two-goal periods. The third period was dead even with a goal apiece.
After a scoreless overtime, Ovechkin notched the lone goal in the shootout, giving the Caps yet another win over the Bruins.
Here is what we learned from the Bruins’ 4-3 loss at Capital One Arena.
Braden Holtby tames Bruins’ flame…again:
Head coach Bruce Cassidy could not have drawn up a better start for his hockey team. David Backes and Noel Acciari put the Bruins ahead 2-0 just 2:12 into the opening frame.
The Bruins came out flying, but as he has done for most of his career against the Bruins, Braden Holtby came through with timely stops. The Capitals’ workhorse made 12 of his 31 saves in the first period and kept Boston’s lead to 2-0.
Backes continues to amaze:
After his unexpected colon surgery, Backes was expected to miss several weeks. Backes proved doctors wrong and made a return to the Bruins lineup much quicker than expected.
Since returning to the lineup on November 29, Backes has been one of the Bruins’ most consistent forwards. With his two goals — including the third-period tally to give the Black and Gold a 3-2 lead — Backes has 12 points (seven goals and five assists) in his last 14 games. The ex-Blues captain also has five goals during the Bruins’ six-game point streak.
Danton Heinen remains hot:
Speaking of consistent forwards, Danton Heinen continues to be a valuable asset to the B’s offense.
With his assist on Backes’ first-period tally, Heinen moved into fourth place for points among rookies. Heinen’s 26 points are also the third most on the Bruins, trailing only David Pastrnak (33) and Brad Marchand (32).
Ovechkin has his way:
As solid as Holtby was on Thursday, Ovechkin was equally as good. In addition to his shootout winner, the Caps captain sniped home his 24th of the season to tie the game at 2-2 in the second period.
As he’s done numerous times, Ovechkin’s power-play goal came via his trademark one-timer from his favorite spot at the left face-off dot. A tough shot for any goalie to stop, including Anton Khudobin, who matched Holtby stride for stride in his 31-save performance.