Yesterday afternoon the Bruins took on the Washington Capitals for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Final. It was Tim Thomas against the newcomer Braden Holtby in between the pipes for the two teams. In the first period the issue was decision making and puck possession. On Ovechkin’s first shift there was a noticeably different approach from him, as he initiated contact with both Chara and Seidenberg, drawing a holding call in the opening minutes. Thomas was littered with shots from the Caps, but stood tall as the penalty expired and the B’s number one penalty killer escaped the box. The Bruins did a great job on the penalty kill, but their handling through the neutral zone and five on five situations through the first twenty minutes was horrid, the Capitals shot the puck more at the net in the first twenty minutes of the game (9) than they had through the first forty minutes of game 1. The best chance of the period came from David Krejci with a side-to-sode attempt in the slot that Holtby was able to get a blocker save on. The score remained at zero after one with the Bruins holding a 10-9 edge in shots. The key going into the second period:
“Get more bodies toward the net, especially off the neutral zone plays…Making plays we wouldn’t usually make and force plays.”-Tyler Seguin (Intermission Report with 98.5 the Sports Hub)
To begin the second period there wasn’t much change in the tempo as there was extremely slow puck possession from the B’s. Luckily Brad Marchand was being a good little brat and drew a penalty from Hamrlik for a cross-check after some chirping. You’ve got to love the little ball of hate some days for getting the ball rolling with his yapper. Bergeron presented the Bruins with a nice one-timer that trickled JUST wide of the net THROUGH Holtby’s pads. The Bruins were able to maintain possession for the next minute or so before Seguin let Alzner beat him to the loose puck in the offensive zone for a change in direction. As the period drew on, the tempers began to flare as Ovechkin threw his glove/stick in the German Hammer’s face. Shortly after Carlson elbowed Patrice Bergeron in the head and in retaliation, on the next shift Brad Marchand gave Carlson a stick to the face in displeasure, receiving a two-minute minor. With just over two minutes remaining in the period Troy Bouwer twould tuck the puck past Thomas and give the Capitals their first lead in the series with the assists going to Alzner and Ovechkin. The positive side, (if I have to find one) Tim Thomas created a new scoreless record of 161 minutes and 41 seconds.
“We’ve got to make plays and get it deep and not lose it at the blue line..They’re waiting for us to get fancy, we’ve got to put pressure on them, get it deep because they’re opportunistic and their [defense] don’t want to play deep.”-Joe Corvo (Intermission Report with 98.5 the Sports Hub)
As the third period began the Bruins came out looking stronger than ever, creating chance after chance against Holtby who is some sort of God-like beast in between those pipes, robbing Marchand for his 54th save in two games. However with a little persistence and pressure, Bruins forward Benoit Pouliot would become the hero of the game as he chipped the puck past Holtby to tie the game at 12:13 off of a Brian Rolston shot. The goal would be Pouliot’s first ever playoff goal in 24 contests. Congratulations Pou-Bear! Just think, fourteen months ago Pouliot, Kelly and Rolston weren’t even Bruins and currently they are the only line that has scored. (Pouliot 1G, 1A : Kelly 1G, 1A : Rolston 2A) Though there would be much back and forth action in the third period, this game needed extra time as they headed into sudden death overtime.
“We need more pressure on Holtby.. We have to do what we’re supposed to do..Got to follow the game plan and we’ll be fine” -Brad Marchand (Intermission Report with 98.5 the Sports Hub)
Heading into Overtime this would be the first time the Bruins opened a series with consecutive overtimes since April 16-17, 1980 in the Quarter Finals against the New York Islanders. In the opening minutes of the extra minutes the Bruins had a great pace and threw insane amounts of shots at Holtby, but there was no breaking him or Tim Thomas for the entire twenty minutes, forcing a double overtime. The issue for the Bruins being, they weren’t crashing the net for the rebounds. Sadly it wouldn’t be much into the double OT that Nicklas Backstrom would slap one past Thomas to give the Capitals the win and tie the series as the Series travels to the Nation’s Capitol.
The Bruins put forth a great effort against the Capitals today and it really comes down to scoring. The Bruins need to keep constant pressure on Holtby and crash the net for rebounds. Their long shots and fancy plays aren’t going to cut it against this team. The next game is Monday night at 7:30pm EST on CBC,NBCSN,NESN or you can listen to the game on 98.5 the Sports Hub.