Monday, April 16, 2012

Eastern Conference Quarterfinal - Game Three

The Bruins/Capitals series has been somewhat disappointing thus far. The only reason why I say that is because of what is going on around the league. Look at what is taking place in the other first round match-ups.

The Los Angeles Kings are up 3-0 over the President's Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks. The New York Rangers and the Ottawa Senators each have a player who was suspended. As far as the Philly/Pittsburgh series goes, well, that speaks for itself.

The Bruins and Caps have combined to score only three goals in two plus games. A spark was needed to get things going and I am not just speaking for the Bruins. I am speaking for the progression of the rest of the series.

Anyway, game three took place on Monday night at the Verizon Center. Some of the fans were sporting Barack Obama masks to try to get under the skin of Tim Thomas. Really? The White House "controversy" is dead people. It is so old.

Some good news for the Bruins as Tuukka Rask traveled with the team and participated in a heavy practice on Monday morning. He may resume his role as the backup goaltender at some point in this series. On the other hand, Adam McQuaid remained in Boston to rest his eye.

Now we can talk about the game. The Bruins had a few decent chances in the opening period. When there are five red sweaters and a flying goalie stick crashing the net on every shot, it is almost impossible for a decent chance to become a great chance.

The only goal scored in the period was on a power play for the Caps. Alexander Semin recorded the tally on assists from Brooks Laich and Alex Ovechkin. The B's finished the period 0-for-2 with the man advantage.

Rich Peverley put the B's on the board less than a minute into the second period. Ovechkin scored seconds later to put Washington back on top. At that point, some much needed energy was injected into the game when the fourth line of the Bruins got some significant ice time. Daniel Paille tied the game at two by scoring his first goal of the playoffs.

The action was fast and furious in the third period. End to end action, hard hits, and near donnybrooks all period long? You can tell it is playoff hockey. Brian Rolston gave the Bruins the first lead of the series after cleaning up a deflected shot in front of the yet. After Laich tied the game once again, Zdeno Chara put the Bruins ahead for good while the teams skated four-on-four.

The Caps' defensemen were on their game throughout this one. Roman Hamrlik shut down the wingers for Boston, a surprising feat since the Bruins juggled their top two lines all game long. Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg did the same at the other end of the ice for the Bruins.

Away from the action for a bit. During a scrum, Milan Lucic (who finally asserted himself) was taunted by Karl Alzner calling him a crybaby. Keep in mind this was after Alzner grabbed Lucic from behind and wrestled him to the ground. I have a feeling this might resurface as the series goes on.

The Bruins take a 2-1 series lead after a 4-3 victory in game three. Game four will be Thursday night back in Washington.

Gold Star: Dennis Seidenberg...It is about time he got some recognition for his outstanding play on the ice. He finished with an assist and was a wall in the defensive zone.

Black Star: Brad Marchand...He needs to step up, or at least show up. He has played like trash in the first three games.

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