Sideline Observations – Washington Capitals 2, Boston Bruins 1

By NoontimeSports.com 

Washington’s Braden Holtby deflected 44 of 45 shots between the pipes, and yielded one Boston goal, as the Capitals defeated the Bruins at the Verizon Center, 2-1.

Boston and Washington have now won two contests — both at home and on the road — and will play at least two more contests.

Marcus Johansson and Alexander Semin provided Washington with two goals, while Rich Peverley notched Boston’s only strike in the first period.

Tim Thomas concluded the game with 19 saves, too.

Boston’s power play woes continued, as they ended the contest 0 for 1, while Washington recorded a power play at 18:43 in the second period.

Both teams will return to the ice on Saturday afternoon, as Boston will host Washington for a critical fifth game of the series. Last year, Boston won the fifth game of their opening round series against Montreal, and wound up defeating the Canadiens in seven games.

What will happen this year? Thoughts? Ideas? Analysis? Feel free to post your comments about this particular series below!

Sideline Observations – Boston Bruins 4, Washington Capitals 3

Zdeno Chara's third period goal lifted Boston past Washington, 4-3! (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By Matt Noonan 

For the second time in five days, Boston ended a contest on the winning end, as the Bruins defeated the Washington Capitals, 4-3 at the Verizon Center.

Here are some postgame reactions and thoughts.

How The Game Was Won: With roughly two minutes remaining, and the score tied, 3-3, Boston’s Zdeno Chara whipped a shot from the nearside wing past Washington’s Braden Holtby, (25 saves) which clinched the victory for the Bruins.

Boston’s Fourth Line Sparked The Offense: Let’s give some props to the Bruins fourth line, which tied this particular match in the second period when Daniel Paille wristed a shot past Holtby. That strike rejuvenated the Black and Gold, and helped them register two more tallies before the buzzer sounded.

It All Starts With Defense: With a chance to earn a 2-1 lead in the series, Boston’s top defensive unit – Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg – ramped up their  intensity, and provided some physical blows late in the third period, which helped set up the game-winning goal.

Both players finished the contest with 11 combined hits, and five shots on net.

The Bruins Power Play: Once again, Boston ended another postseason contest with no power play goals. The Bruins are currently 0-for-11 against the Capitals when they have an extra skater, and will attempt to snap their scoreless streak on Thursday, Apr. 19.

Other Notes:

* Washington outshot Boston, 32-29. 

Washington ended the game with one power play goal, but failed to capitalize on their second, third and fourth chances.

* The last time Boston led a series, 2-1 was against Tampa Bay in 2011 during the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bruins wound up winning that particular series, 4-3, and then defeated the Vancouver Canucks to claim their sixth Stanley Cup championship.

Daily Noontime – April 13, 2012

Chris Kelly's game-winning goal propelled Boston to a 1-0 victory against Washington! (Photo Credit: USA Today)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Friday, which means… it’s time to break into song and dance! However, before we do that, let’s kick-start the final work day with some headlines and news from the city of champions…Boston!

* The Boston Bruins began their Stanley Cup title defense on Thursday with a 1-0 overtime win against the Washington Capitals. Chris Kelly notched the game-winner, while Tim Thomas turned away 17 shots. Boston and Washington will return to the ice for Game No. 2 on Saturday at the TD Garden.

* Against Washington in Game No. 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals – Boston’s 2011 power play woes continued, as the Bruins ended the game 0-for-4. The Bruins somehow managed to win the Cup last season with an awful power play, but Claude Julien knows that particular unit needs to improve.

* The Boston Red Sox will play their home opener on Friday, as they welcome Tampa Bay to Fenway Park. The Sox enter the contest with a 1-5 record, while the Rays are 4-2 and tied atop the AL East with the Toronto Blue Jays.

* The Boston Celtics will look to build off their two most recent victories against Atlanta and Miami on Friday when they travel to Toronto for a 7:00pm tip-off. The Green and White have eight contests remaining, and five of those games will be played on the road.

Sideline Observations – Boston Bruins 1, Washington Capitals 0

Chris Kelly's game-winning goal lifted Boston past Washington, 1-0! (Photo Credit: USA Today)

By Matt Noonan 

The Boston Bruins began their Stanley Cup title defense on Thursday against the Washington Capitals with an overtime clincher by Chris Kelly.

Kelly raced down the ice early in the extra session, and whipped a shot past Washington goaltender Braden Holtby, (29 saves) for the game-winning goal.

Boston now leads their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series, 1-0, and will return to the ice for Game No. 2 on Saturday.

Here are some observations and thoughts from Boston’s first playoff contest.

How the game was won: Boston needed three periods and 1:18 in overtime to net their only strike of the contest, as Benoit Poulio and Brian Rolston connected with Kelly, who then deposited the puck past Holtby for the score a few seconds later.

Washington had numerous chances in the third period to light the lamp, but Tim Thomas, (17 saves) deflected all nine shots, which helped Boston force overtime.

Props to Holtby: Washington’s netminder was certainly the player of the game.

Holtby earned some “brownie points” midway through the second session when Boston experienced a 4-on-3 power play. The 22-year-old netminder kept his composure, and managed to deflect a handful of Bruins shots, which didn’t exactly jumpstart the Capitals offense.

Boston’s offense recorded 17 shots in the second frame, but again, couldn’t muster a goal. They also tallied nine shots on Holtby’s cage in the first period, and three in the third.

Boston’s Power Play: Similar to last season, the Boston Bruins struggled immensely on the power play.

Boston endured four power plays on Thursday, but didn’t muster a single goal with the extra skater, while Washington ended the game 0-for-2.

Other Notes:

* Boston managed to win 33 of 65 face-offs, and also recorded 40 hits.

* The last time a Boston playoff team went into overtime tied, 0-0 was on May 12, 1995. New Jersey defeated the local hockey club, 1-0 in the extra session, and wound up winning that particular series, too.  

* The last time Boston led a quarterfinal series, 1-0 was in 2009 against Montreal.

* Tyler Seguin paced Boston’s offense with five shots on net, while Nicklas Backstrom led Washington with three.