Sideline Observations: Washington Capitals 2, Boston 1 (OT)

By Matt Noonan 

There’ll be a new Eastern Conference and Stanley Cup champion this year, as the Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins in Game No. 7 at the TD Garden on Wednesday, 2-1 in overtime.

How the game was wonWashington’s Joel Ward recorded his first playoff goal at 2:57 in the extra session, which lifted the Capitals past the Bruins.

Washington will advance to the semi-finals for the second consecutive year in a row. They’ll most likely face New York, but that could change pending an Ottawa victory on Thursday.

No Home Cooking for Boston: Entering the seventh game of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, Boston believed their crowd would provide the necessary assistance.

However, after a rather lackluster and up and down first frame, the noise and excitement disappeared, but returned once Tyler Seguin slid past Braden Holtby for the Bruins only strike of the contest at 14:27 in the second period.

In the third period, Boston’s crowd attempted to play the role of ‘the sixth man’ with various chants, but the Bruins didn’t deliver.

Boston’s Power Play: Once again, the Bruins power play was a major issue.

In the third period, Boston had a golden opportunity when Washington’s Jason Chimera was sent to the penalty box for holding at 17:34, but the Bruins failed to capitalize on their third power play of the contest.

Boston concluded their first round series with Washington going 2-for-23 on the power play.

Boston-Washington Make History: Boston and Washington set an NHL record with seven games being decided by one point. They also experienced four games that needed at least one extra session to decide the outcome, too.

Finally, if you’re a Boston Bruins fan who needs a pick-me-up, please click PLAY on the YouTube video we’ve provided below! 

Sideline Observations: Boston Bruins 4, Washington Capitals 3 (OT)

Tyler Seguin recorded the game-winner on Sunday, which forced a seventh game on Wednesday at the TD Garden! (Photo Credit: CBS Boston)

By Matt Noonan 

Facing a win or go home scenario, Boston buckled down and defeated Washington on Sunday at the Verizon Center, 4-3 in overtime, and forced a seventh game in this particular Eastern Conference quarterfinals series.

Tyler Seguin netted the game-winner at 3:17 in the extra session, and also recorded an assist in his team’s third postseason victory, while Andrew Ference, David Krejci and Rich Peverley each potted a goal for Boston.

How The Game Was Won: The Bruins earned a 3-2 lead midway through the third period before the Capitals evened the score with an Alex Ovechkin tally at 15:08, which prompted an extra session.

In the fourth frame, Boston earned their second overtime victory of the series on their third strike by Seguin, who managed to weave past Washington’s netminder Braden Holtby, (27 saves) for the clincher.

Seguin’s Goal Cracked Holtby: With a chance to help his team punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference semi-finals, Washington’s 22-year-old netminder deflected two shots by Boston in overtime, but couldn’t contain their third, as Seguin snuck the puck past Holtby for the game-winning goal.

Seguin’s strike propelled an animated postgame celebration on the ice, and pushed the momentum arrow toward Boston. It also exhibited that Holtby isn’t comfortable with traffic in front of the net, too.

Holtby has been rather impressive against Boston, but one might wonder, will he be able to rebound on Wednesday?

Two-Goal First Period: Entering Sunday’s afternoon affair, Boston had won 16 contests when they scored two or more goals in the first period.

Against the Capitals, the Bruins ended the opening period with a 2-1 lead, and wound up beating their first round foe by one goal.

Boston is now 17-0-0 when notching two or more tallies in the opening frame.

Game No. 7: Last season, Boston won two consecutive game sevens, and will attempt to earn their first of the 2012 playoffs on Wednesday.

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.

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.  

Daily Noontime – April 11, 2012

Kevin Garnett registered 24 points against Miami on Tuesday, which helped Boston earn their 33rd victory of the season! (Photo Credit: SunJournal.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s “hump day,” which means this week is almost over. However, before we break out into song and dance, let’s kick-start the day with some headlines and news.

* The Boston Celtics earned their 18th win since the NBA All-Star break, as they defeated the Miami Heat in Florida on Tuesday, 115-107. Paul Pierce led the Green and White with 27 points, while Kevin Garnett poured in 24 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks. Garnett finished the game 11-of-14 from the field , while his team converted 43-of-71 field goals.

* The Celtics have now won four of their last six contests, and will attempt to earn their 34th win of the season on Wednesday when they host the Atlanta Hawks.

Daniel Bard lasted five innings, and gave up eight hits and five runs, which helped the Toronto Blue Jays defeat the Boston Red Sox, 7-3. Adrian Gonzalez finished the contest with three RBIs, while Kevin Youkilis managed to muster his first two hits of the season.

* The Red Sox and Blue Jays will conclude their three-game series on Wednesday at 12:37pm — Jon Lester will oppose Ricky Romero.

* Boston College’s men’s ice hockey team celebrated their fifth National Championship on Tuesday, as the campus hosted a parade for students and members of the community to commemorate their most recent victory against Ferris State. BC ended their season on a 19-game winning streak.

* Finally, we’re one day away from the Boston Bruins first round playoff match against the Washington Capitals. And while players and coaches continue to prepare for their upcoming foe, Tyler Seguin explained to the media that “it’s a lot different this year,” especially since the team won the Stanley Cup last June.