For the second time in less than a week the Bruins hosted the National Hockey League’s leading scorer Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. This time the Bruins fared better than they did on Saturday as they blanked the Capitals 3-0 for
Tuukka Rask’s league leading sixth shutout.
The Bruins dominated the Capitals from start to finish and put forth a complete 60-minute effort. The win was the Bruins third in a row and was Rask’s (1-3-3) first career win against the Capitals. The loss was Braden Holtby’s (4-1-0) first career regular season loss to the Bruins.
Here are three takeaways from the Bruins 40th win of the season.
Gregory Campbell stays hot:
In the five games the Bruins have played since returning from the Olympic break, Gregory Campbell has been one of the Bruins better players. The London, Ontario Canada native got the Bruins on the board first Thursday night, tipping in a Patrice Bergeron shot from the point. The goal was Campbell’s fourth since returning from the break.
For Campbell it seems like a new added confidence has helped him find the back of the net. He’s been driving to the net and putting himself in positions to score. Because of the play of the entire line, the “Merlot Line” has been getting more playing time and it’s certainly benefiting Campbell.
We’ve seen Campbell go on streaks like this in the past, but Campbell is playing some of his best hockey as a Bruin.
Penalty free game, perfect for Bruins:
In last Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Capitals, the Bruins allowed the Caps to score twice on six power play opportunities. Heading into Thursday’s contest, the Bruins knew they needed to stay out of the penalty box. Staying out of the penalty box is exactly what they did as the Bruins didn’t take one penalty all game.
The Capitals entered the night as the league’s second best power play team, so keeping the Caps off the power play was pretty sweet for Rask and the Bruins.
“You’re kind of afraid of those guys when they get a power play because they’ve got so much firepower and they are so disciplined” said Rask. “But we didn’t give them any and it’s great to see that.”
You don’t have to be a hockey expert to figure out that staying out of the penalty box is a very important thing, but for a Bruins team who is excellent five-on-five, this is especially true.
Bruins’ D cause Capitals offensive meltdown:
The Washington Capitals offense was nowhere to be found Thursday night as the Capitals managed just 16 shots. The Caps’ had just four shots in each of the first two periods. The Bruins’ defense did a great job clogging the middle, giving the Capitals forwards nothing to work with. In their win over the Bruins last Saturday the Capitals had 31 shots. Alex Ovechkin had nine of those 31.
With so much firepower offensively, the job the Bruins did in their own zone Thursday night was truly exceptional.
Much credit has to be given to Matt Bartkowski as the young defensemen was a key reason as to why the Caps only had 16 shots on goal. With Andrej Meszaros and Corey Potter in the mix, Bartkowski knows it’s a battle for playing time as the playoffs approach.
If Thursday was a sign of things to come for Bartkowski, he won’t have to worry about finding playing time anytime soon.
Hear what the Bruins had to say following the win:
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