April 21, 2012

Brouwer's late power-play goal lifts Caps to 4-3 win

ByJesse Connolly

Final: Washington 4, Boston 3

Recap: After a scoreless opening period, Alex Semin got the Capitals on the board first, taking advantage of an injured Joe Corvo and a tired Bruins squad by burying a rebound to make it 1-0. Just a few minutes later, Jay Beagle sent a shot that deflected off Johnny Boychuk's stick and past Tim Thomas, putting Washington ahead 2-0 with roughly six minutes to go in the middle frame.

Boston responded at 17:21 when Dennis Seidenberg blasted a shot over Holtby's glove to make it 2-1. Just 28 ticks later, Brad Marchand was able to tap a loose puck through Holtby's wickets, tying things up at two apiece.

In the third, Thomas kicked aside a Joel Ward shot but old pal Mike Knuble was there to slam home the rebound and put the Caps back on top. With 7:29 gone, Dennis Wideman cross-checked Marchand and put Boston on the power play. The B's finally capitalized on a man advantage, as a bomb from Johnny Boychuk beat Holtby to make it 3-3.

With 2:50 to go, Benoit Pouliot went to the box for an obnoxiously weak slashing penalty. Sure enough, Washington capitalized when Troy Brouwer beat Thomas high glove with 1:27 to go. Boston could muster little-to-nothing in the final 97 seconds, as Holtby and the Caps hung on for a 4-3 win.

Series: Capitals lead 3-2

Key Play of the Game: The Pouliot penalty was sheer garbage. Absolute filthy garbage. It's the second time in this series (Backstrom for cross-checking) that a referee has made a call that would be considered weak in the regular season in the closing minutes of a freakin' playoff game. 

Connolly's Commendations: We'll give a nice golf clap for Marchand in this one. The wake-up call was received loud and clear, as No. 63 had a goal, an assist and looked far more focused than he had in the previous few games.

Connolly's Critiques: These cold streaks from Boston's key forwards are getting laughable. David Krejci had one wildly weak shot that literally sailed like a pop-up to Holtby and did squat otherwise. 

Tyler Seguin again lost just about every battle he was involved in. The tenacity has still not been displayed by the second-year pro that are required in the playoffs. And on top of it all, had he just lifted a freakin' puck on a setup from Lucic in the second period, this game could've gone differently.

Notes: Krejci and Seguin are now the only two members of the top six that don't have points. Patrice Bergeron and Corvo were injured in the contest, btu Claude Julien had no update on either player.

Next: The Bruins and Capitals will head back to Washington for Game 3 on Sunday at 3 o'clock.