Tom Wilson scored two goals as the third line for the Washington Capitals (7-6-1) stood out again in a 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins (5-4-3) on Saturday night at TD Garden.
By Glynn Cosker
DCpuckDrop Managing Editor
The Washington Capitals survived a lopsided second period and a penalty-heavy third to overcome the Boston Bruins 3-2 at TD Garden. It was the Capitals’ 10th straight victory over Boston. Capitals enforcer Tom Wilson scored twice, and captain Alex Ovechkin added Washington’s other goal. In goal, Braden Holtby – who rarely allows a win against the Bruins – made 31 saves to frustrate Boston’s top line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak. Holtby’s opposite number, Tuukka Rask, made 24 saves. Wilson’s line-mates Lars Eller and Chandler Stephenson tallied an assist apiece in another fine outing for the Capitals’ third line, following up on their impressive display in Washington’s 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders.
Wilson and Ovechkin Score Capitals’ Goals
The Capitals scored the game’s first two goals to go into the locker room 2-0 up after the first. Wilson scored his first goal, assisted by Eller and Stephenson, seven minutes into the game – a close range effort to reward the Capitals’ strong fore-check in the first. Ovechkin’s tally at 13:06 in the first was another of his signature goals – a slap shot from the left slot that flew over Rask’s right shoulder, top shelf; Ovechkin’s fellow Russians, Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov picked up assists on that goal.
🚧 CAUTION: Ice may be slippery when celebrating 😂 pic.twitter.com/HsrEKy8okW
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) November 5, 2017
Pastrnak pulled a goal back for the Bruins 3:37 minutes into the second period before Wilson tipped in Brooks Orpik’s wrister from the blue line with just over a minute left in the period. At the very end of the second period – which the Bruins dominated from start to finish, despite giving up a goal – Pastrnak smashed heavily into Capitals forward T.J. Oshie; Orpik took Pastrnak’s number, and not long into the third period, Pasternak was nursing a bloody lip after Orpik’s stick deliberately hit him hard.
Capitals Survive Penalties in the Third Period
The resulting double-minor four-minute penalty was non-productive for Boston with the Caps’ Wilson and Eller almost scoring shorthanded goals on two separate 1-on-0 chances against Rask; that brought out the ‘boo birds’ in TD Garden and they let their voices heard from that point onward. Holtby made a couple of spectacular saves during that Bruins’ four-minute power play, including a sublime effort to stop Pastrnak who was all alone in the slot. The Bruins had another power-play opportunity when Orlov took a holding penalty with 10 minutes left on the clock. Again, Holtby shut down any thoughts the Bruins had of pulling a goal back. Also of note, Holtby rarely allowed any rebounds. In short, Holtby owns the Boston Bruins – he’s now 12-2-0 against them, including a .944 save percentage, a 1.81 GAA, and three shutouts.
Wilson took a tripping penalty with less than four minutes to play in the game, and that was one penalty too many as Pastrnak slotted home for the Bruins – banking in off Holtby from close in – to make the score 3-2. Rask was pulled with 1:31 left to play, but Holtby made two amazing saves in the final 30 seconds to secure the victory for the Caps.
It was a solid day at the office for the Washington Capitals; they turned the puck over less than usual, all four offensive lines played well – as did the defense – and Holtby was incredible between the pipes. Next up for the Capitals is a home game Monday night against the Arizona Coyotes, followed by a trip to Buffalo for a match-up against the Sabres on Tuesday night.