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! 

Boston Bruins-Washington Capitals Game 7 Questions/Thoughts

By Dan Libon 

Here are five questions and answers about Game 7 on Wednesday between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals. 

1.) How does Boston earn its third consecutive Game 7 victory going back to 2011 against Tampa Bay?

Boston needs to crash the net! The harder it is for Braden Holtby to track the puck, the easier it is for the Bruins to score. They also have to get dirty goals and rebounds, too.

2.) Who’s ONE player to watch in Game 7?

Alex Ovechkin is too obvious, so I’d say, let’s keep an eye on Alexander Semin, who many believe doesn’t have a great deal of heart. However, he has been an impact player in this particular series with three goals. He’s also been a force on defense; so again, keep your eyes on him.

3.) What do you expect from Braden Holtby in Game 7?

Those waiting for the downfall of Braden Holtby have been horribly disappointed. At no point in this particular series has the 22-year-old second year goalie performed like a 22-year-old second year pro goalie. He is probably going to have a great night as long as the Bruins allow him to have a clear view of the puck. He hasn’t cracked yet, and I don’t see him cracking now.

4.) Will Tyler Seguin provide any last minute fireworks?

For Tyler Seguin to duplicate his performance, he is going to have to use his speed to create opportunities. With that being said, it’s not him that needs to get a big time goal again, but the top six forwards, who have been rather quiet.

5.) What’s your prediction for Game 7?

The Bruins win it because after having a reputation of blowing game 7’s, they are now the premier seventh game team after last season. This is a team that went 3-0 in game 7’s last year behind last year. Bruins 2, Capitals 1

Daily Noontime – April 23, 2012

The Boston Bruins forced a Game Seven on Wednesday by defeating the Washington Capitals on Sunday, 4-3 (OT)! (Photo Credit: SportsFanLive.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s a brand new week, which means we need to kick-start it with some news and headlines from the sports universe in Massachusetts…Boston!

* There will be a Game Seven on Wednesday, as the Boston Bruins won their second overtime contest against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, 4-3. Tyler Seguin registered the game-winning goal and assist, while Tim Thomas saved 36 of 39 shots between the pipes.

* Boston and Washington will complete their Eastern Conference quarterfinals series on Wednesday at the TD Garden – time is TBD.

* The Boston Red Sox third contest with the New York Yankees was postponed on Sunday due to heavy rain. The Sox are currently 4-10, and haven’t recorded a win since they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, Apr. 15.

* The Sox will look to snap their five-game losing streak on Monday when they travel to Minnesota for an 8:10pm first pitch — Jon Lester will oppose Jason Marquis.

* Despite no Sunday Night Baseball — former Red Sox manager Terry Francona expressed his thoughts on returning to Fenway Park on Friday to celebrate Fenway Park’s 100th birthday.

* Finally, the Boston Celtics have learned that their first round playoff foe will be the Atlanta Hawks. Boston clinched their third consecutive Atlantic Division last week against Orlando, but currently remain one game behind Atlanta for home-court advantage. Boston has two games remaining in the regular season against Miami and Milwaukee.

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 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.