BOSTON – The Bruins and Washington Capitals were both clearly knocking the rust off in an early season, and it showed once again in an inconsistent game punctuated by a beautiful play that decided things.

David Pastrnak scored a third period goal to provide Boston’s only offense through regulation, and then smoked a one-timer off a slick David Krejci saucer pass just 12 seconds into overtime for a 2-1 win for the Black and Gold at TD Garden.

The Bruins and Caps both went through a scoreless first 40 minutes of action where many players were just getting their skating legs back, but then the offense opened up just a little bit in the third and final period. With the B’s and Caps engaged in 4-on-4 play while each had a man in the box, David Krejci and David Pastrnak played give-and-go in the offensive zone.

Pastrnak punctuated the play with a crafty little move where he had his back to the net, and fired a backhanded surprise shot when it appeared Philipp Grubauer was thinking pass rather than shot. The two goals for Pastrnak were impressive given that the 19-year-old looked very rusty in the first couple of periods while skating with Krejci and Matt Beleskey.

The Capitals stormed right back to tie it up with a Nate Schmidt point blast that whistled through heavy traffic in front of Zane McIntyre.

That was all for the scoring for both Boston and Washington, and led to the new 3-on-3 overtime format that’s expected to curb a great deal of the shootout endings that had become so prevalent in the NHL in the last few years.