Capitals star Alex Ovechkin put just one shot on goal in 17:34 of ice time against the Bruins Thursday night. Ovechkin was the focus of Boston’s top defensive pairing of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, and the two burly Bruins were able to hold Ovechkin in check.
“That’s what it’s about — trying to shut him down,” said Seidenberg. “He’s their biggest offensive threat, and you’ve just got to play tough and disrupt his speed and time.
“It’s a good challenge, and I think me and Z both thrive on that stuff.”
Ovechkin is a physical player in his own right, and the Bruins had their hands full with him. During one shift in the first period, both Seidenberg and Chara were able to get a hit on Ovechkin. In the second period, Seidenberg took the brunt of a hit on Ovechkin in the neutral zone.
“I just tried to hit him,” said Seidenberg. “It doesn’t matter who falls at the end, I’ve just got to be in his way so he can’t do anything.”
Ovechkin’s one shot on net was almost enough to cause some damage, but his blast kicked off the toe of Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.
Washington coach Dale Hunter said he thought Ovechkin played hard despite the physicality.
“They were playing tight on him,” said Hunter. “He battled. That’s all you want from your players is to battle. He battled hard.”
It’s one game, but the Bruins seem to have a solid plan to limit the Capitals superstar, provided they can execute it for the rest of the series.