The Bruins have shown the past six weeks that there is something to be excited about this season.
- B's show some fight when it comes to defending teammates
- B's third line makes them a dangerous team
- Bruins guarding against complacency in winning streak
If the B’s really want to show they’ve truly scaled up another rung on the Eastern Conference ladder, however, they need to do so by finally vanquishing the Washington Capitals for the first time in almost four years. The Bruins have lost 11 games in a row to the big, strong, skilled and deep Caps the past four seasons. They’ve looked pretty overmatched in nearly all of those matchups dating to March 9, 2014 - the B’s last win over the Capitals.
Some of that has clearly been the play of Braden Holtby, who has been dominant against the Bruins over his career at 13-2-0 with a 1.90 goals-against average, a .942 save percentage and three shutouts against the Black and Gold, including his first NHL win against Boston seven years ago. Some of that one-sided history has featured recent versions of the Caps bullying the Bruins all over the ice with Tom Wilson stirring up trouble nearly every time the teams meet.
Some of it is players such as Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom overwhelming the B’s with their offensive skill and consistently getting the Bruins down early.
Whatever the circumstances, the Bruins enter the proceedings tonight at Capital One Arena in Washington winners of a season-high five in a row with a 14-3-1 record in their past 18 games. The B’s are healthy and near the top of their game and will put Anton Khudobin between the pipes hoping to get a stand-on-his-head performance.
“We have a lot of confidence right now, and there’s nothing that will slow us down,” said Bruins winger Tim Schaller. “Even if we lose a game here and there, we still know we have a good team, and we can beat the best teams out there. So, it’s all about playing our game, sticking to the system and trusting the system, and we’ll win games.”
The Black and Gold are hoping that finally holds true against the Washington Capitals for the first time in 12 tries.
If the Bruins can finally change their recent dreadful history against the Caps, perhaps there will be even more believers in what the B’s are doing as they continue to climb up the Atlantic Division with some very strong, well-rounded play the past two months.