Lars Eller benefitted from a deflection off Erik Haula for the Capitals’ go-ahead goal in the third, before Alex Ovechkin sealed the contest with an empty-netter in the game’s dying seconds.
Both teams managed a pair of goals in the second period to make it 2-2 after 40 minutes before the hosts tilted the ice in their favor during the final frame.
Curtis Lazar and Haula potted the B’s goals in the second period, while Linus Ullmark (28 saves) took his first loss in net in eight starts.
The Caps struck first with a slap shot point strike from John Carlson in the second period, as Ullmark was slow to track the puck from the point.
Lazar tied the score at 1-1, sweeping in a loose puck after Nick Foligno danced around the Washington crease from the slot.
Minutes later, Haula ripped a slap shot from the left dot on the rush and found twine in the upper right corner to give the B’s a 2-1 lead in the second.
With about five minutes remaining in the middle frame, Tom Wilson brought the Caps back to 2-2 with a goal in-tight around Ullmark.
Washington notched the next two goals in the third period to hand the Bruins the two-goal defeat.
Here’s what we learned following Boston’s loss in the nation’s capital.
Boston’s power play is in a funk
The B’s had four chances with the man advantage against the Caps and had nothing to show for any of them.
Sunday’s poor execution brings it to 16 consecutive power plays without a goal, spanning the entirety of Boston’s four-game road trip.
Against Washington, the Bruins’ fourth and final man advantage came in the third, with the game still squared up at 2-2. But much like their prior three chances, Boston couldn’t convert as they passed around too many quality scoring chances.
The top power-play unit lacks purpose without Pastrnak, the undisputed sniper in that group. Without Pastrnak, the rest of the five-man unit struggles to land shots through traffic.
Tomas Nosek, Foligno and Lazar were arguably Boston’s best line in D.C., as the trio generated the bulk of the offensive energy.
A prime example of their momentum-changing shifts came amid a lengthy possession time in the offensive zone on Lazar’s equalizer. Foligno’s assist on Lazar’s eighth goal of the season snapped an 11-game point drought for the veteran winger.
The fourth line combined for nine hits on Sunday, the most among the four offensive trios, with Lazar leading the team with six.
Defensive depth takes another hit with Grzelck’s injury
The Bruins lost another significant back-end contributor after Matt Grzelcyk left in the first period of Sunday’s tilt against the Capitals. The team later confirmed that Grzelcyk sustained an upper-body injury via Twitter.
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