Capitals lose 4-3 in Boston after late goal by Charlie McAvoy

© Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Capitals and Bruins played in a physical affair on Thursday night in Boston that went down to the wire. In the end, a Charlie McAvoy goal was the difference in the 4-3 loss to Washington.

Washington is now 22-10-9 on the season and will play at home Saturday against the Ottawa Senators.

Here are a few takeaways from the team's loss to the Bruins:

McAvoy gets the winner

The Capitals went to the penalty kill with 2:34 left to play and it burned them. 

Nic Dowd was called for a trip, a penalty he disagreed with vehemently, and the Capitals lost a tight affair. 

McAvoy had a chance in the high slot as the power play wound down and he didn't miss, stealing a potential point from Washington in the process.

Backstrom nets his first

Just after the Bruins took the 3-2 lead about midway through the third period, the Capitals got a quick answer from Nicklas Backstrom. It was his first goal of the season. 

Through the eight games he's played this year after recovering from a hip injury, Backstrom now has one goal and five assists. With Backstrom in the lineup, the Capitals have two legitimate top-six centers and are able to help balance out their lineup, minus Anthony Mantha, to what they envisioned at the start of the season.  

Power play woes continue

The Capitals’ power play problems persisted Thursday as they had four man-advantage opportunities and came up empty-handed each time. In their last three tries, they did not tally a shot on goal. 


In eight minutes of power play time, the Capitals had as many shots (two) as the Bruins did on the penalty kill. 

Washington’s power play is now 18-for-120 this season, good for just a 15% conversion rate, which, as of the end of Thursday’s game, leaves them tied for 30th in the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings.

Capitals lose Jensen

The Capitals were dealt more bad news on their blue line when the team announced Nick Jensen would miss the third period with an upper-body injury. 

Jensen has made up one-half of the team’s reliable defensive pairing with Dmitry Orlov this season, and losing him could be a major blow to the team’s blue line. 

He played 11:35 in two periods and took six shifts in the second period, the last of which ended with 3:48 left in the frame.

More roster shuffling

Even before the injury to Jensen, the team had some roster maneuvering to do before puck drop. 

They placed T.J. Oshie on injured reserve and re-assigned Michael Sgarbossa to the taxi squad. They also recalled defenseman Michal Kempny and Axel Jonsson-Fjallby from the taxi squad, and both played against the Bruins. 

With Orlov suspended, and John Carlson and Conor Sheary still in COVID protocols, there are still lineup issues in Washington.