April 25, 2012

Ward scores in OT as Caps knock out Bruins in Game 7

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Washington 2, Boston 1 (OT)

Recap: After Boston controlled most of the first half of the opening frame, Mat Hendricks got the Capitals on the board first, tipping a shot by John Carlson past Tim Thomas to make it 1-0. 

In the second, Tyler Seguin showed tons of grit and battled in front with Karl Alzner, sprawled out for a loose puck in the crease and banged it home to make it 1-1.

After a scoreless third the two teams headed to overtime. Joel Ward tallied 2:57 in, giving the Capitals a 2-1 victory in the winner-take-all contest.

Series: Capitals win 4-3

Key Play of the Game: We could certainly talk about Ward's goal, but how about Boston's pitiful power play to close out regulation? That was the true killer. The B's did squat for the first 1:40 of it and had nothing of substance happen until Brian Rolston ripped a shot from the blue line.

Connolly's Commendations: Kudos have to go to Tim Thomas for not only playing well tonight but being the most consistently dependable Bruin in this series. The 38-year-old netminder stopped 26-of-28 in the heartbreaking loss.

Connolly's Critiques: David Krejci had one shot and lost 10-of-15 faceoffs he took. Great job. 

Milan Lucic didn't even put a puck on net. Oh and he skated by the puck near the half-wall in his own zone... which led directly to the Hendricks' goal. Great job.

Together, Krejci and Lucic had six points (one goal, five assists). For those wondering why the B's aren't moving on to the second round, there you have it.

Notes: Boston had won three straight Game 7s coming in, but this is the third time in four years their season has ended with a Game 7 loss on home ice.

Final Thoughts: Plenty more to come later, but it comes down to this: No one can truly, honestly feel ripped off here. The Bruins were simply never at their best in this series. Couple that with some oh-so-familiar struggles on the power play, and you've got a recipe for disappointment.

Next: See y'all in October.