January 24, 2012

Capitals send Bruins to break on sour note

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Washington 5, Boston 3

Recap: After a sluggish start to the game, the Bruins caught a break when Rich Peverley’s pass deflected off d-man Karl Alzner and past Tomas Vokoun to put the B’s ahead 1-0. In the second, Washington buried two goals 41 second apart, giving the Caps a 2-1 lead. After Tyler Seguin knotted things up, Mathieu Perreault buried his second of the night to make it 3-2 Washington.

Brad Marchand’s power-play goal with 2:18 left knotted the two squad up at 3-3, but Perreault wasn’t done torturing Tuukka Rask and the Bruins. He completed his hat trick 7:18 into the third and old friend Dennis Wideman tacked on an empty-netter as the Black and Gold fell 5-3 at the Verizon Center.

Records: Washington 26-19-3, 55 points; Boston 31-14-2, 64 points

Key Play of the Game: On Perreault’s goal that capped off his hat trick and proved to be the game-winner, the Bruins were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Chasing the puck with no success ‘round and ‘round their own zone, it was only a matter of time before Washington made them pay.

Connolly’s Commendations: The Bruins might not, but All-Star snub Patrice Bergeron headed into the break on a high note. The center had two helpers and won 13-of-21 faceoffs on the night.

Brad Marchand had his best game since coming back from his suspension. With a power-play strike and three shots on goal, No. 63 was heavily involved in Boston’s offensive efforts.

Connolly’s Critiques: Despite getting a game-high five shots on winger Dan Paille, the fourth line as a whole had a rough night defensively. Paille, Greg Campbell and Shawn Thornton all sported minus-2 ratings in the setback.

What a remarkable quiet night for third-line wingers Zach Hamill and Benoit Pouliot. I can hardly recall noticing them despite their combined total of 21:56 worth of ice time.

Notes: Boston has now given up hat tricks in back-to-back contests, as Scott Hartnell also scored thrice in Sunday’s 6-5 win over the Flyers. David Krejci -- who missed part of the first period after blocking a shot -- got smoked at the dot, winning just 1-of-10 (10%) faceoffs.

Final Thoughts: Well, this wasn’t exactly how the Black and Gold wanted to wrap up this portion of their schedule. The defense hasn’t been nearly as impenetrable as it was since their red-hot run began in November, a sign that Boston’s blueline could likely use the upcoming week away.

Next: Shy of All Stars Tyler Seguin, Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas, Boston won’t be back in action until Jan. 31 against the Senators at TD Garden.