Bruins

Bruins fall to Capitals in shootout, 4-3

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Bruins fall to Capitals in shootout, 4-3

WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin made the most of a quick opportunity to make up for a shootout miss.

Ovechkin scored in regulation and the tiebreaker, lifting the Washington Capitals to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.

The 32-year-old Ovechkin missed his shootout try during Wednesday night's 1-0 loss to the New York Rangers.

"That's one thing that Ovie does, is that (if) he had a failure, he sort of says `I'm going to make up for it'," Washington coach Barry Trotz said. "There was no doubt that thing was in."

Lars Eller and Brett Connolly also scored for the Capitals, who snapped a three-game losing streak and won their 12th consecutive game over the Bruins.

Washington also ended a scoring drought that lasted almost nine full periods and overcame deficits of 2-0 in the first period and 3-2 in the third.

"It was not really one of our best games," Eller said. "But we battled back."

David Backes scored twice for the second time this season, but Boston lost for the third time in its last 12 games. Noel Acciari also scored for the Bruins.

Washington's Braden Holtby and Boston's Anton Khudobin each made 31 saves.

Connolly tied it at 3 with 8:38 left in the third when he attempted a centering feed toward Tom Wilson at the crease. Instead, the puck caromed off a Boston player and over the line before Khudobin could stop it.

Ovechkin had the only successful shootout attempt, finishing into the top right corner.

Washington gave up two goals during a 49-second stretch early in the first period, and then pulled even with two goals 96 seconds apart in the second.

First, Eller reached a loose puck between the circles and rifled a shot past Khudobin, ending a team drought of more than 178 minutes. Then, after Boston's Torey Krugpicked up a slashing penalty, Ovechkin took John Carlson's feed at the left face-off circle and smashed it into the top right corner for his 24th goal.

"When you're able to get a 2-0 lead, you hope that you can step on the throat and finish them off at some point," Backes said. "The second period, a couple plays that they find pucks and they're able to score one. And then they get a power play shortly thereafter."

Ovechkin's goal was Washington's first on the power play in six games.

"It was very important for us on the power play to kind of bounce back," Ovechkin said. "It doesn't matter if I score or somebody else scores. Just to take the pressure off our shoulders."

Backes' second goal put Boston ahead 3-2 and came just moments after Washington killed off its fifth penalty of the game. T.J. Oshie gave the puck away in his own end, and Danton Heinen found Backes open for a shot that struck Holtby's glove on its way in.

Even then, Washington found a way to extend its Boston winning streak.

"We turned the puck over and just killed the momentum, and mentally that's really tough for a group that's been battling all night to get back," Trotz said. "And I just like our response. We just kept staying with the program."

NOTES: Washington assigned C Nathan Walker, the first Australian national to play in the NHL, to the minors. The 23-year-old forward has played in nine games for Washington, scoring once. ... Caps C Chandler Stephenson (illness) missed his second straight game but is expected to return soon. ... Acciari played one night after taking an illegal check to the head by Ottawa D Fredrik Claesson. The NHL suspended Claesson two games.

UP NEXT

Bruins: Visits Ottawa on Saturday night.

Capitals: Host New Jersey on Saturday night.

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Rangers hire David Quinn away from BU as new head coach

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Rangers hire David Quinn away from BU as new head coach

In what is becoming a growing trend, a National Hockey League team has dipped into the collegiate ranks to find its next head coach. After a successful five-year stint as Jack Parker’s successor at Boston University, David Quinn has been named the 35th coach of the New York Rangers.

Quinn reportedly received a five-year contract to oversee a plan to reload the Blueshirts roster.

In that respect Quinn is perhaps the perfect choice for the Rangers -- a young, enthusiastic coach that excels in the teaching aspect of the game with young player. He posted a 105-67-21 record in his five seasons with the Terriers while developing young NHL talent like Jack Eichel, Charlie McAvoy and Clayton Keller. Quinn didn’t win a national title at Boston University but did finish as college hockey’s runner-up in his second season, losing to Providence College in the 2015 NCAA title game.

Leaving BU for New York had to be a difficult choice for the 51-year-old Cranston, R.I., native, given that the BU job probably could have been a lifetime gig (as it was for the legendary Parker before him). But there were certainly things about the Rangers job that Quinn couldn’t pass up, among them the prestige of coaching an Original Six team and also where familiar faces like Jeff Gorton and Chris Drury are part of the management team. Being able to compete head-to-head against his good friend Mike Sullivan, the coach of the Penguins, certainly didn’t hurt either.

Quinn expressed all of those mixed emotions in a statement released by BU when New York made his hiring official on Tuesday.

“I’m incredibly excited for this new challenge, but leaving a job like this is very hard to do,” he said. “BU is a special place that has given me so much, not only as a player and a student, but also as a coach. The lifelong friendships I’ve developed here over the years absolutely mean the world to me.

“I was so fortunate to work with the very best in athletic director Drew Marrochello and senior vice president Todd Klipp. BU hockey has always been bigger than the coach and they will bring in an outstanding one to continue the winning tradition here.”

Quinn is the latest in a new movement by NHL teams to pluck their coaches from the college ranks, which is producing so many quality players these days. The Flyers kicked it off in hiring Dave Hakstol away from the University of North Dakota a couple of years ago, and earlier this month the Dallas Stars hired Jim Montgomery away from the University of Denver after the Rangers initially showed interest.

It will be interesting to see where Boston University goes next. The Terriers have a wide swath of hockey-playing alumni to choose from, and people like Bruins assistant coaches Joe Sacco and Jay Pandolfo could also be candidates list if they wanted a college job.

Morning Skate: Look for Lightning strike in Game 7

Morning Skate: Look for Lightning strike in Game 7

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while we’re almost ready for Stanley Cup Final time.

*Who is going to step up in Game 7 between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning for the right to play in the Stanley Cup Final? Put my money on Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy for the Bolts, but don’t sleep on Brayden Point either. That dude has been awesome in this postseason for Tampa Bay. Make sure to check out all the action tonight (8 p.m.) on NBCSN where Game 7’s are treated with the proper gravitas and import.

*Interesting piece from Pittsburgh columnist Ron Cook, who says part of Pittsburgh’s downfall this spring had to do with a “sour relationship” between Phil Kessel and Mike Sullivan. Is Phil Kessel becoming a problem in an NHL dressing room? This is me with my “not shocked” face.

*Pierre Lebrun talks with TSN 1040 out in Vancouver about the Evander Kane contract extension with the San Jose Sharks, which is supposed to be in the seven-year, $49 million range. That is a massive gamble on a player that’s scored 30 goals once in a career where he’s underachieved most of the time. To put it in perspective, Kane will be getting paid $1 million more per season than a much better player in Boston in Brad Marchand. That’s the makings of a really, really bad contract in my humble opinion.

*PHT writer James O’Brien says that the Carolina Hurricanes trading Jeff Skinner would haunt the team, but it sure looks like the Canes are moving for a house-cleaning in Carolina.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Pothier out in Vegas says that all of the skepticism is gone when it comes to the Golden Knights acquiring Ryan Reaves after his big playoff moment.

*For something completely different: I’ve always wanted to see Mysterio on the big screen battling Spider-Man, and it looks like we will see that sooner rather than later as played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Sounds groovy to me.  

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