It is safe to say that we all needed to step back and take a breather from the emotional high of Sunday's game against the Montreal Canadiens.
That was hockey at its best and, at some points of the game, hockey at its worst. Regardless, the Boston Bruins expect that from a rivalry game and they should have expected the same thing on Tuesday night. They were in action against the Washington Capitals, the same team that ended their brief playoff run last season.
That particular playoff series opened up a lot of eyes around the NHL. The Capitals were one of the most prolific teams at blocking shots and playing defense. In this league, it is tough to win games when you only score one or two goals. Washington made it work.
It was also due in large part to the outstanding play of young goaltender Braden Holtby, who made his 10th straight start in this game. Tuukka Rask was back in goal for the Bruins. Chris Bourque made his return to the lineup in this game after being a healthy scratch on Sunday.
In the first period, the Bruins dominated mostly every aspect of the game. It all started in their own defensive zone, progressing all the way up ice for great offensive opportunities. Case in point came when the Bruins were on the penalty kill and Brad Marchand stole the puck off of a turnover and got hooked as he approached the net. He later cashed in on the resulting penalty shot to put the B's on the board.
The defensemen started to get in on the action as Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton (power play) each recorded a goal to extend the Bruins lead. Also, Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves with John Erskine in his first fight since the concussion. How about that for a first period?
The second period was all Washington, although the Bruins helped them out with their sloppy play in their own defensive zone. The Caps got two goals back to make the game more interesting. Mike Ribeiro and Tomas Kundratek were the ones who had the tallies.
The Bruins officially blew the three-goal lead in the third period when Wojtek Wolski beat Rask to tie the game. Washington used that momentum and scored the game-winning goal in overtime on the stick of Eric Fehr. In a game where the Bruins deserved to be criticized, they fall to the Caps with a 4-3 final score. Rask, who made 22 saves, is still winless against Washington in the regular season.
The Bruins will return home for a Thursday night game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Gold Star: Brad Marchand...His goal gave the Bruins some momentum. It was too bad that they could not retain it.
Black Star: Johnny Boychuk...He finished with a minus-two, not to mention he was out of position on several occasions in the defensive zone.