By Matt Noonan
It’s hard to not think about round two of the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, especially after an exciting (and thrilling) 3-2 double-overtime win last night by the Boston Bruins.
Yes, they need to win two more games against the Washington Capitals before advancing further in the postseason, but Wednesday’s hard-fought victory has provided the Black and Gold with all the momentum heading into the fourth game of their opening-round series.
Game four is tomorrow evening at the TD Garden — it is a tremendous opportunity for the Bruins to position themselves for a series-clinching win on Sunday in Washington.
At times, it appeared as if the Bruins had nothing left in the tank last night — to be honest, I was worried that Nic Dowd‘s goal at 18:15 in the second period would wind up being the eventual game-winner, but somehow the Bruins found a way to even the score at 2-2 with a much-needed (and important) power-play goal by Brad Marchand in the third period before Craig Smith sealed the win in the second overtime period.
Smith’s goal will certainly provide the Bruins with a spark tomorrow evening — I wouldn’t be surprised if Friday’s outing results in a non-overtime win by the Black and Gold. Yet, the way this series has gone thus far, a one-goal victory should be expected.
Game four is an important one for both teams, but especially the Capitals — this is a must-win for the Red, White, and Blue. A loss to Boston would present a serious challenge for coach Peter Laviolette‘s squad as they would have to win games five, six, and seven to clinch the series.
Sure, Peter Laviolette has prior experience leading a team past Boston — does anyone remember 2010? — but I don’t think this Washington squad is equipped to win three-straight contests.
As expected, Boston Bruins playoff hockey has been fun, but also nerve-racking at the same time. Sometimes, I just wish most of their shots would sail into the Washington net, so we would not have to play overtime hockey. But after last night’s one-goal victory, I am thinking optimistically about tomorrow’s contest — in fact, I believe we’re going to win.
Let the countdown for Friday’s early evening affair commence — I hope the hometown fans are ready to do their part in helping the Bruins win their third-straight contest so we can possibly celebrate a series-clinching win late Sunday evening.