Talking Points: 'Tough to play catch-up hockey'
You’ve got to give it to Mr. Cheap Shot himself, Tom Wilson. The big Capitals forward really dominated the game offensively and physically for Washington with a couple of goals, five shots on net, three hits and a plus-2 rating in 14:12 of ice time. Wilson scored the first goal for the Caps when a Lars Eller shot bounced off a body straight onto his stick, and he was able to beat Tuukka Rask from a bad angle while he was scrambling to track the puck. Then Wilson capped it off with the back-breaking goal at the end of the second period when he threw a high tip on a Brooks Orpik shot from the point. Wilson has always been an unpopular guy in the Bruins dressing room for the way he plays the game, but give him credit for the damage he did against the Bruins on Saturday night.
Brooks Orpik continued his career full of picking his spots when he threw a dirty high stick at David Pastrnak’s mouth while trying to make it look subtle behind the Washington net. It was his version of payback after Pastrnak took a run at TJ Oshie in the second period, and it was clear he was trying to make it look incidental while hitting him with enough force to rip Pastrnak’s chin open. Should it surprise anybody that Orpik decides to go after an opponent with his stick rather than a good, clean hit, or an honest fight while sticking up for one of his teammates? It shouldn’t at this point given his long body of work in the NHL where borderline hits and sketchy plays trump playing an honest brand of hockey.
The Bruins didn’t show up in the first period and fell down by a couple of goals to a Washington team they simply can’t catch up against. The first goal was a loose puck in front that landed right on Tom Wilson’s stick, and the second was a classic Alex Ovechkin bomb from the left face-off circle. The Bruins battled back valiantly and had a chance to tie when they pulled the goalie in the final minutes, but this was a loss to a better team where the B’s didn’t deserve a better fate after the way they started the game. Everything else after that lackluster opening 20 minutes turned out to be window dressing.
Give David Pastrnak credit for being heavily involved in the game and keeping his team in this one through sheer force of will. Pastrnak scored both of Boston’s goals and really got under the skin of the entire Washington bench after he took a run at TJ Oshie. It ended up getting Pastrnak a mouthful of stitches, but it also got the Bruins a four-minute PP in the third period that they weren’t able to capitalize on. Pastrnak finished with the two goals, a team-high six shots on net, 10 shot attempts and a hit in 21:39 of ice time. He was Boston’s best player on the ice, but there weren’t enough quality others to go around with an injury-depleted roster that the Bruins are playing with right now.
BY THE NUMBERS
10 – the number of consecutive victories for the Washington Capitals over the Boston Bruins, who haven’t beaten the Caps since back in the 2013-14 season.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“We had a bad start, and you can’t have that especially against a team like Washington with a lot of skills. They made us pay in the first. Tough to play catch-up hockey.” – Patrice Bergeron, perfectly surmising a game vs. the Capitals where it never looked like the Bruins would have a chance at a win.