There are plenty of teams in the NHL that would love to trade their record for the Bruins’ 14-3-3 mark.
However, after losing their second third-period lead in as many games and third this year, the B’s all of a sudden look much more vulnerable than they did a week ago.
Last night’s defeat at the hands of the Washington Capitals was especially painful. It appeared as though the Bruins would have their first easy win of the season when they jumped out to a three-goal lead in the first period. Then the Capitals stormed back with two goals in the second period, the equalizer in the third and, from a Bruins perspective, a butt-ugly game-winner just 37 seconds into overtime in the 4-3 loss at the Verizon Center.
On the tying tally, Eric Fehr sifted a puck through Dougie Hamilton’s body, and Wojtek Wolski, sneaking in behind the defenseman, was there to chip it past goalie Tuukka Rask with 6:05 left in regulation.
“Another softie on me,” Rask said.
In overtime, Fehr split Hamilton and defense partner Dennis Seidenberg, then lifted a shot past Rask.
“The (tying goal) was pretty bad luck. It hit me and kind of went through my legs and just kind of sat there. I don’t know what I could have done differently on that,” said Hamilton, who scored the B’s third goal. “The last one, I’m not really sure, either. (Fehr) kind of split in between us. Maybe I could have hit him, I’m not really sure.”
The rookie and Rask were hardly solely responsible for the collapse. The first Washington goal came about as the result of more poor puck management in the defensive zone. Defenseman Zdeno Chara, who joined Hamilton on the scoresheet, missed Rich Peverley with a pass along the boards, and the Capitals turned the play right back around for a Mike Ribeiro goal.
In the third period, the Bruins had numerous chances to add an insurance goal when they put 15 shots on Washington goalie Braden Holtby. The best scoring chance developed with 9:06 left when David Krejci and linemates Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton entered the offensive end with a 3-on-1 break, but nothing came of it. The B’s also came up empty on a late power play after Alex Ovechkin was called for hooking.
Chris Kelly, usually one of the B’s best defensive forwards, continued struggling and finished at minus-3.
“There’s a lot of things right now and it’s not a good time for that. We’re playing a lot of games here,” coach Claude Julien said. “Defensively we need to be a lot better. We’re certainly not as good as we’re capable of. That’s an issue. We’ve got a lot of guys that have to be better for us. Those things we all see. But offensively, we’ve got a 3-on-1, you get a 2-on-1 and you’ve got to be able to capitalize on at least one of those odd-man rushes. And if you capitalize, it’s a different hockey game.”
B’s slip, fall in D.C.
Boston Herald | Mar 6