WASHINGTON — After 40 minutes last night at the Verizon Center, Claude Julien had seen enough of his team’s listless play in front of Tim Thomas.
So with his club down 3-0, Julien tabbed Tuukka Rask to start the third to spark his team. For most of the third, the move worked. The Bruins wiped out a 3-0 deficit (goals by Michael Ryder, Nathan Horton, and Shawn Thornton) and even chased starting goalie Michal Neuvirth from the net.
But at 13:25, John Carlson steamed a slap shot past Rask for the deciding goal in the Capitals’ 5-3 win. Alex Ovechkin added an empty-netter in the final minute.
The Capitals exploded for three second-period goals on a helpless Thomas. Tomas Fleischman kicked off the barrage by beating Patrice Bergeron on an offensive-zone draw, pulling the puck back to Tyler Sloan. As Sloan wound up for a slap shot, the Capitals converged on the slot to cut off Thomas’s sightlines. With plenty of traffic in front, Sloan’s slapper found its way to the back of the net at 0:59.
Washington doubled its lead at 7:35. As two Bruins converged on Alex Ovechkin in the offensive zone, the shoot-first winger spotted Mike Green open at the right point. Gregory Campbell hit the deck to stop Green’s shot. But Green dangled around Campbell and sniped a high-glove wrister over Thomas to give Washington a 2-0 advantage.
Green was on the helping end of Washington’s third goal. With Ovechkin serving a slashing penalty, Alexander Semin picked off a pass at the left point. After playing give-and-go with Green, Semin cranked a short-angle slapper through Thomas at 17:50.
For the first time this season against the Bruins, Washington coach Bruce Boudreau created a power line of Ovechkin, Semin, and Nicklas Backstrom. The Bruins countered by matching Zdeno Chara against the No. 1 line, with Dennis Seidenberg seeing regular shifts alongside the Boston captain.
19:08 3d period: Capitals 5-3
Alex Ovechkin with the ENG.
13:25 3d period: Capitals 4-3
John Carlson smokes a slapper from the right point. David Krejci tossed from faceoff circle. Milan Lucic loses the draw.
12:47 3d period: 3-3
Tuukka Rask stays square to stop Nicklas Backstrom. No rust on Rask. Gregory Campbell back on fourth line.
10:21 3d period: 3-3
Tyler Seguin now on the fourth line. Gregory Campbell bumped up to No. 3 center.
9:51 3d period: 3-3
Shawn Thornton, on a partial breakaway, lifts a backhander over Michal Neuvirth. Rapid transition from D to O. Goalie change for Caps, as Braden Holtby now in.
4:02 3d period: Capitals 3-2
Nathan Horton with the PPG. Slapper from the left-side half-boards. Michal Neuvirth should have that shot. Timeout Washington.
3:07 3d period: Capitals 3-1
On the power play, Michael Ryder beats Michal Neuvirth with a short-range backhand. Dennis Seidenberg starts it with a shot from the left point.
0:00 3d period: Capitals 3-0
Tuukka Rask in net to start the third.
20:00 2d period: Capitals 3-0
Bruins down by three goals, but seems like a lot more. Only nine pucks on Michal Neuvirth. Tough way to win against an explosive club like Washington.
17:50 2d period: Capitals 3-0
SHG for Alexander Semin after playing give-and-go with Mike Green. Nice play by Semin to start the rush with aggressive play at the left point.
14:57 2d period: Capitals 2-0
One of the better shifts for the Bruins, with the fourth line getting some pressure on Michal Neuvirth. Let’s see if it sparks the other lines.
13:33 2d period: Capitals 2-0
Two big-time stops by Tim Thomas. Caps could have five goals if not for Thomas.
10:32 2d period: Capitals 2-0
Only seven shots for the Bruins halfway into the game. Neuvirth stealing his salary tonight.
7:35 2d period: Capitals 2-0
Sick, sick snipe by Mike Green high glove on Tim Thomas. Nothing any goalie can do to stop a shot like that.
4:27 2d period: Capitals 1-0
Tim Thomas comes way out to stop Mike Knuble.
0:59 2d period: Capitals 1-0
Tyler Sloan’s slapper from the point sneaks through traffic and beats Tim Thomas. Tomas Fleischmann starts things by beating Patrice Bergeron on the draw and pulling the puck back to Sloan.
20:00 1st period: 0-0
Washington doing a heck of a defensive job, limiting the Bruins to three shots in the first period. At the other end, the Caps’ forecheck causing problems. Several uncharacteristic defensive-zone turnovers by the Boston D-men. But as always, Tim Thomas standing tall to clean up the mess.
15:24 1st period: 0-0
Adam McQuaid vs. Matt Hendricks. Hendricks does a good job of tying up McQuaid and keeping him from using his reach.
8:30 1st period: 0-0
Alexander Semin steams a slapper off Tim Thomas’s shoulder. That had to sting.
6:47 1st period: 0-0
Sharp stop by Michal Neuvirth on Milan Lucic in close. Lots of time for Lucic.
3:40 1st period: 0-0
Heavy heat from Alex Ovechkin and friends. Not a good shift for Michael Ryder.
0:05 1st period: 0-0
Bruins send out shutdown pairing of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg against Washington’s No. 1 line.
0:00 1st period: 0-0
Daniel Paille and Brian McGrattan are the healthy scratches.