Here are Joe Haggerty's talking points from the Bruins' 1-0 win over the Capitals Sunday.
GOLD STAR: Tuukka Rask sported a very rough 1-11-5 career record vs. the Capitals heading into Sunday afternoon’s game against Washington, but he was very good in a deceptively difficult game for the Black and Gold netminder. Rask didn’t have a ton of action in his end as the Bruins did a good job of controlling the territorial play, but he stepped up and made big saves in those moments where the Capitals got dangerous with their chances. One of the best was a first period stop after Alex Ovechkin had danced through both Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy for a wide open chance at the front of the net, and Rask made a couple of good saves during a second period penalty kill that led up to Boston’s first goal of the game. Then it was Rask again in the third making a sweeping glove save on a Travis Boyd bid from the slot with the B’s defense scrambling a bit in front of him. He finished with just 24 saves, but a very large 11 of them came in the third period with the B’s just hanging on for dear life.
BLACK EYE: Bruce Cassidy has some tough words for Zdeno Chara after Thursday night’s loss to the Flyers, and then Chara watches as Alex Ovechkin danced around him multiple times on Sunday afternoon. Chara has looked like he’s having a lot of difficulty with his skating since coming back from the bye week, and it was even going on prior to that point as well. One has to hope that No. 33 takes a few games off in the second half of the season to make sure his energy and skating legs are fresh for the important games. It may just be that Chara is beginning to look his 41 years of age, and that will be a tough reality for the Bruins. It didn’t hurt the Bruins vs. Washington obviously as Rask got the shutout, but Chara was having trouble keeping up at times. That’s a concern.
TURNING POINT: Credit the Bruins penalty kill with some strong work at the midway point of the second period as they stopped the Capitals power play cold after a light Kevan Miller cross-checking penalty was called by the refs. That strong PK effort from the Black and Gold led right into Boston scoring the first goal of the game, and the B’s getting an all-important lead against the Capitals, which is always a good place to be for the Bruins. The penalty kill efforts made up for a Bruins power play that had numerous chances to carve out a lead for the Bruins early in the game, but wasn’t able to do anything.
HONORABLE MENTION: David Krejci continues his scoring binge over the last few months as he scored his 11th goal of the season finishing off a couple of great passes from David Pastrnak and Torey Krug. It was the only goal of the game in the Boston win. Many have been on Krejci for not elevating the second line with his presence no matter who he is skating with, but he’s been the only consistent source of Bruins offense behind the big three on the Perfection Line. It wasn’t a great game for Krejci with just a shot on net, a giveaway and just 5-for-12 face-off wins in his time on the ice, but all that really mattered was No. 46 being able to finish off a play in the clutch. He also won the draw in the D-zone with 14 seconds left to help secure the win. That was big time.
BY THE NUMBERS: 253 – the number of all-time wins for Tuukka Rask in a Bruins uniform, which makes him the all-time Bruins franchise leader with one more than the legendary Tiny Thompson.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "No...it makes it exciting every year. It makes it easier to bet on them too." –Brad Marchand, on whether he ever gets bored with the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl every year.
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