The Caps will get a chance to get the bad taste of Brooklyn out of their mouth on Wednesday as they host the Boston Bruins (8 p.m., NBCSN). Here are three bold predictions for the game.
1. Brad Marchand will get more than 2 PIMs
Doesn't sound bold for a player who has made a lot of headlines this week for the wrong reasons, but incredibly Marchand has not been called for a single penalty in his last six games and has taken more than 2 PIMs only six times in 53 games this season. Despite avoiding suspension for his past two (blatant) slew foots, you have to think the NHL's patience will run out at some point. The referees will be watching Marchand very closely on Wednesday and will not let him get away with anything.
2. Boston will score first
Washington has a two-point lead over Columbus for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Boston has only a three-point lead over the Toronto Maple Leafs who are the first team out of the playoffs and the Leafs have five games in hand. Now that the All-Star break has come and gone, the playoff race has begun in earnest. The Bruins are playing with a much higher sense of urgency than the Caps and that will be evident to start. The Caps will take a little while to up their game to the same level of Boston.
3. A defenseman will score for Washington
The Islanders did a great job on Tuesday of forcing the Caps to the perimeter and clearing them out of the middle. On Wednesday, Washington will get back to basics with lots of net-front presence which will mean kicking the puck back to the blue line for shots from the defense. Even if they don't score, at the very least a defenseman will get an assist on a deflection goal.
1. Jason Chimera will have a multipoint night - Wrong
2. Alex Ovechkin will outduel John Tavares - Push
3. Washington will score on the power play - Wrong
MORE CAPITALS: Caps' penalty kill has gone cold