Michael Ryder and Nathan Horton scored power-play goals, and the Boston Bruins defeated the Washington Capitals 4-1 in their home opener at TD Garden tonight.
It was the second meeting this week between the teams. The Bruins won 3-1 on Tuesday in Washington.
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas turned in another solid start and won his fourth straight game, but had only himself to blame for not picking up a shutout. Thomas misplayed an attempt to clear the puck after coming far out of his net to gather the puck as it slid toward him. Washington’s Jason Chimera intercepted Thomas’s clearing attempt and zipped it into an open net.
Thomas had 39 saves.
Horton made it 3-0 in the second period when he drilled a shot from straight-on that hit Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov and bounced over his pads and into the net with 7:44 to go.
The Bruins started the second period as if they were on a power play, setting up in the Capitals’ zone and dominating possession. Jordan Caron made it 2-0 when he lifted a shot just 2:22 into the period that sailed above Varlamov’s glove. Patrice Bergeron fed Caron from behind the net.
Ryder put the Bruins on top 1-0 just before the end of the first period. Ryder tucked home a shot from Varlamov’s right after Bergeron pushed the puck in front of the goal.
Zdeno Chara added a power-play goal with 15.9 seconds left to seal the victory.
3d period, 15.9 seconds, Bruins 4-1: Zdeno Chara seals it.
3d period, 3:43, Bruins 3-1: New life in the Bruins. Can they see the finish line of this one? They just stopped a Caps flurry in front of Thomas.
3d period, 7:10, Bruins 3-1: Capitals have a little momentum on their side, and also a 37-31 shots advantage. Can the Bruins hang on for 7 more minutes? They’re facing a lot of pressure, and seem a bit sloppier.
3d period, 9:28, Bruins 3-1: Both Hunwick and Marchand are back on the Bruins’ bench.
3d period, 10:33, Bruins 3-1: Tim Thomas gets burned on his attempt to come out of the net and handle the puck. His clearing pass was scooped up by Jason Chimera and zipped home for the first Capitals’ goal.
3d period, 13:10, Bruins 3-0: Capitals center Matt Hendricks has left the bench area with an apparent leg injury.
3d period, 15:54, Bruins 3-0: The Bruins turned back another power play, but two plays have left the Bruins bench apparently for injury attention. Brad Marchand just went off, appearing to have a bit of a limp as he skated off the ice, while Matt Hunwick has not returned to the bench after the intermission.
2d intermission, Bruins 3-0: Shots are even at 26-26. Momentum is anything but. The Bruins seem to have speed and energy to burn, and while the Capitals have had their chances, as evidenced by the shot tally, Tim Thomas has been stellar in goal. Another 13 saves in the second period gives him 26 for the game.
The Bruins’ two power-play goals are the first man-advantage goals scored against the Capitals this season.
2d period, 7:44, Bruins 3-0: Nathan Horton drills a shot from straight-on that hits Varlamov and bounces over his pads and into the goal. Milan Lucic and Mark Recchi assisted. The goal came at the tail end of a power play. Both Horton and Lucic each have a point in all five Bruins game this season. Bruins now 2-for-2 on power play tonight.
2d period, 9:45, Bruins 2-0: Bruins kill another penalty. It’s their 12th straight penalty kill, and they’ve only allowed one power-play goal this season.
2d period, 17:34, Bruins 2-0: Jordan Caron zips a shot above Varlamov’s glove hand off a nice feed from Bergeron, who dug the puck out from the board behind the net.
It was as though the Bruins were on a power play to start the second period, with the action almost entirely in front of Varlamov. Following the goal, more of the same, much to the delight of the crowd.
1st intermission, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins are 2-0 when they score the first goal of the game this season, and they’re 1-0 when leading after one period.
The Capitals have an edge in shots, but the Bruins lead on the scoreboard. It was only a matter of time before Michael Ryder broke through in this game, as he’s led several first-period rushes and gotten one quality shots prior to the goal. Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin set up the goal. The goal, which came on a power play with Matt Hendricks off for tripped, was only the second Bruins power-play goal in 16 opportunities this season.
Meanwhile, Tim Thomas has so far made coach Claude Julien look good for his choice of starters, turning aside several chances by the Caps, including a few while planted on his backside. Thomas has 13 saves.
1st period, 27.5 seconds left, Bruins 1-0: Michael Ryder nets his second goal of the season with the Bruins on a power play.
1st period, 1:54: Unit of Chara-Boychuk-Bergeron-Caron skates two shifts to kill the penalty, and the second unit (Wheeler-Krejci-Seidenberg-Stuart) was effective as well, even springing Wheeler for a breakaway shot.
1st period, 5:03: Andrew Ference crushed Jason Chimera into the boards behind the Bruins net and will be sent off for boarding. Chimera was slow to get up, but does not appear to be injured.
1st period, 9:26: The Bruins closed the gap in shots to 6-4 Caps after a couple rushes netted clear shots by Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron, both turned aside by Semyon Varlamov. After spending much of the first 10 minutes defending, the Bruins have shifted to a more attack-minded game and and prodding for gaps in the Caps’ defense.
1st period, 13:57: The Bruins have just one shot, the Caps have five. Lots of action in front of Thomas.
1st period, 17:33: Good call, Claude. Tim Thomas denied Brooks Laich on a near point-blank shot, which gets a roar of approval from the TD Garden crowd.
Welcome to TD Garden. The question of the day — who will start in goal for the Bruins tonight — now has an official answer. Tim Thomas, on a three-game win streak, is between the pipes. Stay tuned for more, it’s almost time to drop the puck.
It’s a packed house as the Bruins are being introduced. Huge ovations for Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, Mark Recchi and Zdeno Chara. Marc Savard also gets a big-time greeting as he was introduced on the bench, wearing a suit.
Steven Tyler of Aerosmith belted out a killer national anthem.