|Record||Goaltender||GAA / SV%|
|Washington Capitals||6-0-3||Vitek Vanecek||2.78 / .918|
|Boston Bruins||5-1-2||Jaroslav Halak||1.30 / .938|
The Washington Capitals are looking to finish their six-game homestand with a 4th straight win to take 11 of 12 possible points. Heading into Monday night’s matchup, the Caps are 6-0-3 in their first nine, thus extending their franchise record for longest point streak to start a season.
On Saturday night, the Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins in overtime by a score of 4-3. The full postgame report can be found here. It was the first time Zdeno Chara faced his former squad in a Washington jersey after serving as captain for 14 seasons. After missing the last four games, Alex Ovechkin returned to the lineup and started his night on the 2nd line with TJ Oshie and Richard Panik. For the Bruins, David Pastrnak made his season debut after undergoing hip surgery in September 2020. Vitek Vanecek got his 6th consecutive start after going 3-0-2 in his first five.
Only four faceoffs were taken in the opening 13 minutes of the first period, with the Bruins having won all four. Both teams had great scoring opportunities, but Vitek Vanecek was outstanding for Washington once again.
At the 18:06 mark of the first, Nicklas Backstrom scored his 5th of the season to give Washington a 1-0 lead.
The Bruins would receive a late power play as Richard Panik was sent to the penalty box for tripping and began the middle frame with 45 seconds remaining with the man-advantage. Washington would kill off the penalty to keep them leading. The Caps should have gotten a power play when Jeremy Lauzon got away with a hold. Trevor van Riemsdyk tallied his first with the Capitals at the 5:22 mark of the 2nd period to make it 2-0.
The goal came on their 9th shot of the game. Then, David Krejci was called for hooking at the 8:39 mark to give the Caps their first power play. Richard Panik scored his 1st of the season a little over 60 seconds into the man-advantage. The goal was originally credited to Tom Wilson.
With the goal, the Capitals had put up nine unanswered goals over the last two showings. Unfortunately, the Bruins would be gifted another late-period power play with 3:17 remaining. Nick Ritchie scored on the power play to make it 3-1, Caps.
The Capitals killed off 3 of 4 penalties, and went 1-for-1 with the man-advantage. Brad Marchand reduced Washington’s lead to just one goal as he scored at the 6:03 mark, and down by one, Tuukka Rask would be lifted from the Bruins net for the extra skater with 1:23 left. With 57 seconds remaining, Charlie McAvoy would score the game-tying goal to force overtime.
It took just 28 seconds into the overtime period for the Capitals to emerge victorious. Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winning goal, the 24th overtime game-winner of his career, and 708th all time. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask appeared stunned by Ovi’s shot, and didn’t seem to even try to stop it.
Through 60 minutes, the Bruins held Washington to just 23 shots on goal while peppering Vanecek with 43 of their own. Vitek Vanecek made 40 saves on 43 shots to earn his 5th win (4th in 5 starts), and put up a .930 save percentage. Tuukka Rask historically has not been great when facing Washington, so it is possible that Jaroslav Halak will get the start on Monday.
- 17 different Capitals skaters have scored a goal this season (most in NHL).
- Washington is 6 for 10 with the man-advantage at home (best power play in NHL at 44.4%)
- With the overtime-winning goal last night, Alex Ovechkin tied Mike Gartner (708) for the seventh-most goals in NHL history in 275 fewer games played.
- No other NHL player has scored more overtime game winning goals than Ovechkin.
- Bruins have best faceoff percentage in NHL (58.7%)
- Vanecek is tied for 2nd most wins in NHL; with Binnington, Andersen.
- Bergeron, Marchand lead BOS with 11 points (5G, 6A)
Jaroslav Halak will get the start for the Bruins. Dmitry Orlov is slated to play and will be paired with Nick Jensen on the 3rd defensive pair. Jakub Vrana has been demoted to 4LW, and Conor Sheary bumped up to 2LW. Nicklas Backstrom will center Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson on the top line.
NBCSWA and NESN will be covering Capitals vs Bruins, from Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, with puck drop coming shortly after 7:00pm.
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