The Capitals are winners of two in a row after a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday. Here’s how they were able to win.
A strong start
Two goals are better than one. The Caps scored the first goal for the first time in eight games on Thursday against the New York Islanders. They did one better on Saturday as they scored the first two goals of the game to jump out ahead of the Bruins and they never looked back.
Tom Wilson’s second goal
Wilson scored twice for the first multi-goal game of his NHL career. His first goal put opened up the scoring, but it was his second goal that proved to be critical. The Caps took a 2-0 lead in the first period, but Boston came out swinging in the second. The Bruins took complete control of the game and all the momentum with a dominant middle frame. They looked faster, they won every battle and they took control of the game. That led to a goal from David Pastrnak, but Wils scored with just 1:10 left to play in the second to keep Washington’s lead at 2. The fact that the Caps still held a two-goal lead at the end of that period was absolutely crucial and had to really hurt the confidence of the Bruins.
Why was Boston only able to score once in a dominant second period? Because Holtby was on point. He turned in one of his best performances of the season as he turned aside 31 of the 33 shots he faced, many of which were high-quality chances.
Killing off the double-minor
The much maligned penalty kill came up huge in the third period when Brooks Orpik was given a double-minor for high-sticking Pastrnak. The Caps’ killers were dominant as they stifled the Bruins’ power play. They even countered with two breakaway opportunities, one for Wilson who was looking for the hat trick, the other by Lars Eller. They did not score on either attempt, but it shows you just how strong the penalty kill was. Washington ended up killing three of the four power plays they faced, but it was the double minor that really sealed the win.