The Bruins are on the road, visiting the Washington Capitals at Capital One arena for a second time. Na Zdrowie!
The Bruins are now at 5-1-2, putting them at a decent 3rd in the MassMutual East division, 3 points behind the division-leading Caps.
Last time in Bruins Hockey..
The Bruins were on the road, battling their hated rival the Washington Capitals.
David Pastrnak returned to play, for the first time this season, and logged 20:29 of ice time, leading all forwards for either team, seond only to Charlie McAvoy among Bruins skaters.
The Bruins came out to dominate puck possession early in the game, winning the majority of faceoffs and having a huge advantage in shots on goal and shot attempts, which of course resulted in a low scoring 1st period with only Nicklas Backstrom potting a goal. The Bruins would continue their strong play into the 2nd period with the obvious result that they would be in an 0-3 hole shortly past the halfway mark.
They would end up crawling back to tie the game on goals from Nick Ritchie, Brad Marchand, & Charlie McAvoy. Now the Caps are undefeated in regulation and the Bruins have been to overtime in most of their games this season, so it seems like this game was always fated to go into OT.
The Bruins would allow the Caps an unchallenged 3-on-3 zone entry off the initial faceoff, resulting in an Ovi snipe 28 seconds into the OT period, immediately after crossing the blue line. Tuukka Rask did not seem to be seeing the puck well, allowing 4 goals on 23 shots. Meanwhile the Caps’ 3rd goaltender, Vitek Vanacek alternated between smooth play and outright chaotic frenzy, losing his stick on at least one occasion, yet managed to keep the puck out of the net 40 times out of 43.
What will be the lines today?
David Pastrnak is back so the big 3 forward line is together again.
Charlie Coyle got a maintenance day after an upper body issue, but is expected to play this evening.
Forward Ondrej Kase is still on IR, and Jack Studnicka — who took a big hit in the last Pittsburgh game — has joined him there. Jake DeBrusk is out, managing a lower body injury. Karson Kuhlman is up from the taxi squad. Coach Cassidy is reportedly rotating the lower 3 RW positions trying to find the best matchups, having had success in Krejci-Smith pairings.
On the defense, lefty Matt Grzelcyk has been missing some playing time, bringing in Connor Clifton in his stead. Cliffy is expected to be in the lineup again today. Meanwhile, John Moore is back on the roster after having spent time on IR, bringing the defensive group up to 8 players.
Jaro Halak is expected in net, with Tuukka manning the bench door. Callum Booth has been assigned back to the minors, with Dan Vladar on the taxi squad.
|Bruins Forward Lines|
|Bruins Defensive pairs|
|#41 Jaroslav Halak||(#40 Tuukka Rask)|
Tonight’s opponents are the Washington Capitals. The Caps are a hell of a screwed up team. Yet they also are leading the division. In the offseason, they acquired Pitt’s Justin Schultz, ditched Holtby, acquired Ottawa’s Craig Anderson, acquired Buffalo’s Conor Sheary, Carolina’s Trevor van Riemsdyk and famously, Boston’s Zdeno Chara.
Former depth goaltender Vitek Vanacek appears to be beating out veteran Craig Anderson for the top goaltending spot.
Washington was recently fined $100,000 for lax COVID protocol discipline. Because of this, a giant pile of players were put into the quarantine protocol. This includes Ovi, Dmitri Orlov, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov. Count Orlov is back. Justin Schultz is out, having taken a puck to the face. Lars Eller is out out with an upper body injury.
(h/t Daily Faceoff and the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell @SamanthaJPell):
#8 Alex Ovechkin — #19 Nicklas Backstrom — #43 Tom Wilson
#73 Conor Sheary — #77 T.J. Oshie — #14 Richard Panik
#62 Carl Hagelin — #26 Nic Dowd — #21 Garnet Hathaway
#13 Jakub Vrana — #23 Michael Sgarbossa — #10 Daniel Sprong
#33 Zdeno Chara — #74 John Carlson
#4 Brenden Dillon — #57 Trevor van Riemsdyk
#9 Dmitri Orlov — #3 Nick Jensen
#41 Vitek Vanecek
#31 Craig Anderson