WASHINGTON — Tonight at the Verizon Center, the Bruins concluded their season-opening four-game swing away from Boston with a 3-1 win over Washington.
In the third period, Matt Hunwick padded a 2-1 lead with a floater that beat Semyon Varlamov at 2:08.
With Michal Neuvirth making his sixth straight start of the season, the Bruins struck twice in the first period. The Bruins got on the scoreboard after Milan Lucic, posting up at his defensive blue line, made a crisp backhand pass to Nathan Horton a moment before absorbing a heavy hit. Horton and David Krejci sprang loose for a two-on-one rush against Tyler Sloan. As Horton sprinted down the right wing, Krejci darted to the middle, anticipating his linemate’s pass. Horton hit Krejci, who slammed the puck past Neuvirth at 9:12 of the first period.
The No. 1 line doubled Boston’s lead later in the first. Krejci was on the playmaking end this time, finding Johnny Boychuk open at the right point. Instead of ripping his trademark slap shot, Boychuk carried the puck in deep and put a wrister on goal. Neuvirth kicked out Boychuk’s shot, but Lucic, standing in the slot, banked in the rebound at 11:57.
Less than a minute later, Washington coach Bruce Boudreau yanked Neuvirth and sent in Semyon Varlamov for his first action of 2010-11. The Capitals’ staff announced later in the first that Neuvirth was suffering from flu-like symptoms.
The Capitals cut Boston’s lead in half in the second period. Hunwick committed a defensive-zone turnover when, as he retreated toward his net, he tried to chip the puck out. Instead, the puck glanced off a forechecking Matt Hendricks, which led to Marcus Johansson getting an in-front chance. Johansson tucked the puck behind Tim Thomas at 7:42 of the second.
18:22 3d period: Bruins 3-1
10:00 3d period: Bruins 3-1
No goal. Alex Ovechkin throws the puck in.
9:23 3d period: Bruins 3-1
Milan Lucic vs. John Erskine. Tough scrap between the two. Lucic fares far better this time than in his rookie year when Erskine had his way with him. Second career Gordie Howe hat trick for Lucic, I believe.
2:08 3d period: Bruins 3-1
After Semyon Varlamov makes a Grade-A stop on Jordan Caron, Matt Hunwick floats a shot from the point that sneaks through.
20:00 2d period: Bruins 2-1
Both teams’ PKs continue to sparkle. Bruins haven’t tested Semyon Varlamov enough. Rough night for Matt Hunwick.
10:06 2d period: Bruins 2-1
Five-on-three PP for 53 seconds for the Bruins. Claude Julien calls his timeout.
7:42 2d period: Bruins 2-1
A Matt Hunwick D-zone turnover leads to Marcus Johansson getting his first career goal.
0:00 2d period: Bruins 2-0
Michal Neuvirth is out with flu-like symptoms.
20:00 1st period: Bruins 2-0
Caps seem to have settled their game following the goalie switch. However, Bruins still playing a thorough game. Tim Thomas (10 saves) continues to look sharp.
12:42 1st period: Bruins 2-0
Michal Neuvirth out, Semyon Varlamov in.
11:57 1st period: Bruins 2-0
David Krejci makes it happen by spotting Johnny Boychuk open at the right point. Boychuk walks in puts a shot on goal that Michal Neuvirth kicks out. But Milan Lucic sweeps in the rebound.
9:12 1st period: Bruins 1-0
Nathan Horton and David Krejci spring loose for two-on-one. Horton feeds Krejci for the goalmouth strike. Excellent backhand pass by Milan Lucic at his defensive blue to kickstart the sequence.
3:15 1st period: 0-0
Gregory Campbell vs. Matt Hendricks. Both punchers land solid blows. Second fight this year between the two.
0:00 1st period: 0-0
Daniel Paille, Brian McGrattan, and Adam McQuaid are the healthy scratches. Boyd Gordon and Mike Green are out for Washington.