Talking Points from the Bruins 2-1 overtime loss to the Capitals . . .
GOLD STAR: Patrice Bergeron had another masterful game for the Bruins in a big matchup with the Capitals with his team looking to make a statement. He finished with Boston’s only goal in the first period, had a team-high seven shots on net, 12 shot attempts, a takeaway and two blocked shots along with 14-of-21 face-off wins in a dominant performance for the Bruins. He managed that offensive production along with the same lockdown defense that he always plays even if he and his line were on the ice. The Bergeron line was the most effective one on the ice for the Bruins all night.
BLACK EYE: A tough night for Dennis Seidenberg, who battled hard but ended up on the wrong side of the only scoring play for the Capitals during regulation. Seidenberg and Karl Alzner were locked up against the boards, and the Washington defenseman slipped away while beating the Bruins blueliner to the front of the net. That put him in perfect position to knock home the Nicklas Backstrom feed past Tuukka Rask, and tie up the game in the second period after Boston lost momentum by failing to score on the 5-on-3 power play.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins got a 5-on-3 power play for extended time shortly after Alex Ovechkin was given a five minute major for boarding, and weren’t able to score despite some very good chances hitting posts, and narrowly missing on several others. Then it was only a matter of time before the Capitals took that lost momentum from the Bruins PP, and capitalized with the game-tying goal in a huge momentum swing during the middle 20 minutes of the game.
HONORABLE MENTION: Bruins fans gave a sigh of relief upon learning that Washington backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer would be getting the start in Boston, but perhaps that celebrating was a little too premature. The Capitals backup was brilliant while stopping 33-of-34 shots, and was especially good in the second period during the 5-on-3 while also aided by both Ryan Spooner and Patrice Bergeron hitting posts during the Black and Gold onslaught. But overall Braden Holtby himself probably couldn’t have done a better job bottling up the Bruins defense than Grubauer did when it was all said and done.
BY THE NUMBERS: 98 – the number of birthdays for Bruins legend, Hall of Famer and class act Milt Schmidt as of Saturday’s very special day for the former Bruins player, coach and GM.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I don’t like seeing those hits. If it’s five for boarding, it kind of shows the severity of it, and I’m disappointed that our player wasn’t able to come back, and who knows, if it’s somebody else [besides Ovechkin], is it a game? You guys can answer that question yourselves.” –Claude Julien, when asked whether he thought Alex Ovechkin boarding play on Kevan Miller was malicious that earned him a five minute major, and sent Miller to the hospital.