hockey | nhl

Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals Pick & Prediction APR 8TH 2021

FinishedTV: NBCSWA | NESNVerizon Center Washington

19Boston Bruins
20Washington Capitals

OP
5.5
-1.5
CU
5.5o -114
-1.5 +197
ML
333
290
Partials
1 2 3
2 1 1
0 2 0
Score
4
2
Recap

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Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals Recap APR 8TH 2021

T.J. Oshie and Tom Wilson each scored a goal to lift the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday afternoon in the Eastern Conference round-robin finale in Toronto.

Braden Holtby recorded 30 saves as the Capitals (1-1-1, three points) clinched the third seed in the East. Washington next will face the New York Islanders as the league returns to traditional postseason formatting for the remainder of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Jake DeBrusk scored midway into the third period for the Bruins (0-3-0, zero points), who will be the fourth seed in the East despite entering the round-robin with the best record in the NHL. Boston will next face the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Capitals came out slow in the first period and were held to one shot on net over the first 19 minutes. With 16 seconds remaining, Oshie made the most of shot No. 2, wedging the puck off the stick of Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and past Tuukka Rask for a 1-0 lead.

Oshie's goal was his 20th career in the playoffs with Washington, becoming the seventh player in franchise history to reach the mark.

The Bruins, who have yet to lead in any of their games since the season restarted, had a chance to knot the score early in the second on a partial breakaway shot by defenseman Charlie McAvoy that Holtby snagged out of midair. Boston held a 16-15 edge in shots through two periods.

Wilson beat Rask top shelf to double the Washington lead with his first goal of the playoffs at 2:49 of the third period, but DeBrusk got the Bruins on the board when he put beat Holtby between the pads with 9:30 left. Boston pulled Rask with one minute remaining but failed to convert.

The Capitals remained without Norris Trophy finalist John Carlson, who missed the entirety of the round-robin tournament with an undisclosed injury. Game-time decision Nicklas Backstrom played after missing practice Friday for undisclosed reasons.

-Field Level Media

The Washington Capitals will be glad to return home after a bit of a rough trip. They went 2-3-0 in games against the Rangers, Devils and Islanders.

But they'll be back in Washington on Thursday night against a Boston Bruins team that is coming off a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. The Caps, meanwhile, want to return to playing more consistent hockey after the Islanders beat them 1-0 Tuesday.

Washington will play three of its next five games at home, and even though they are tied for first in the East Division -- with the Islanders -- the Caps recently struggled on the road. The defense and offense experienced some trouble coming together.

"I think we did our job against Jersey, got out of there with two wins," Washington's Lars Eller said. "I think the other games, the New York games, we didn't play up to the level we are capable of. So, yeah, we didn't hit our stride. Weren't good enough, basically. We could be better than we showed those three games."

Things could have been worse if goalies Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov hadn't played well most of the time. Vanecek made 38 saves -- 19 in the third period of Tuesday's loss to the Islanders -- to keep the Capitals in the game.

The offense has been up and down. Alex Ovechkin had been on a roll but has just one goal in the past five games. He's always been a streaky player, however, so playing three of the next five at home could be a positive for him and the rest of the Capitals.

Washington also will face an interesting decision with the trade deadline coming up. Will the Caps be content entering the playoffs with these two young goalies or will they trade for a veteran netminder?

Samsonov and Vanecek have played solid hockey most of the season, but can they carry Washington in the playoffs? The Caps have to make that decision shortly.

The Bruins have split their past eight games but scored a big victory in Philadelphia in their most recent game. Patrice Bergeron registered a hat trick while Brad Marchand notched the tiebreaking, short-handed goal along with three assists in the win.

The goal that put Boston ahead came 8:21 into the final period -- the 29th short-handed goal of Marchand's career -- and he's already tops in Bruins' history in that department.

But the goal was his 48th point in a short-handed situation, pushing him into first place in franchise history. He moved by Eddie Westfall and Bobby Orr for that honor.

Meanwhile, Bergeron registered career hat trick No. 6 and earned his 900th NHL point. He now is just the fourth Bruins to reach that milestone -- Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk and Phil Esposito are the others.

But the story of this game was the play of rookie goalie Jeremy Swayman, who made 40 stops in his first game, earning the win.

"My mentality throughout the game was don't get too high, don't get too low," Swayman said. "Learned that from (assistant coach) Alfie Michaud back at Maine, and that's going to stick with me for a long time. Just one shot at a time."

Boston did get Kevan Miller back after he sat out 20 games due to knee problems. But Charlie McAvoy sat out of this game because of an upper-body injury. Coach Bruce Cassidy said McAvoy is day-to-day.

--Field Level Media

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GAMES

Last 10

W 50% L 50%
5 5
  • Buffalo W 2 - 3
  • Washington L 8 - 1
  • @Philadelphia L 2 - 3
  • @Washington W 4 - 2
  • @Philadelphia W 4 - 2
  • Philadelphia L 3 - 2
  • Pittsburgh W 5 - 7
  • Pittsburgh L 4 - 1
  • New Jersey W 4 - 5
  • New Jersey L 1 - 0
W 60% L 40%
6 4
  • Philadelphia W 1 - 6
  • @Boston W 8 - 1
  • @Buffalo W 4 - 3
  • Boston L 4 - 2
  • @NY Islanders L 0 - 1
  • @New Jersey W 5 - 4
  • @New Jersey W 2 - 1
  • @NY Islanders L 4 - 8
  • @NY Rangers L 2 - 5
  • NY Rangers W 4 - 5

Next Games

  • NY Islanders(03-25-21) L 4 - 3
  • NY Islanders(03-25-21) L 4 - 3
  • Washington(04-11-21) L 8 - 1
  • @Buffalo(03-20-21) D 0 - 0
  • @Buffalo(03-20-21) D 0 - 0
  • Buffalo(02-18-21) W 1 - 3
  • @Philadelphia(03-13-21) W 5 - 4
  • @Boston(04-11-21) W 8 - 1
  • @NY Islanders(04-06-21) L 0 - 1
  • @NY Islanders(04-06-21) L 0 - 1

Last Meetings

  • Capitals @ Bruins 8-1
  • Bruins @ Capitals 4-2
  • Capitals @ Bruins 1-5
  • Capitals @ Bruins 2-1
  • Bruins @ Capitals 5-3
  • Bruins @ Capitals 3-4
  • Bruins @ Capitals 1-2
  • Capitals @ Bruins 3-7
  • Bruins @ Capitals 2-3
  • Capitals @ Bruins 3-2

Eastern Conference

AtlanticWL OTPTSHOMEAWAYGFGAST L10
Toronto Maple Leafs2811460 14-0-614-0-5143112L27-0-1
Tampa Bay Lightning2812157 15-0-413-0-8143108L14-0-6
Florida Panthers2712256 14-0-413-0-8136117L37-0-3
Boston Bruins2212448 11-0-611-0-6112106L25-0-4
Montreal Canadiens1813642 9-0-99-0-4123114L15-0-5
Detroit Red Wings1523535 9-0-96-0-1499140L25-0-3
Ottawa Senators1426331 9-0-105-0-16118164L13-0-6
Buffalo Sabres1025424 4-0-136-0-12100147L14-0-3

Western Conference

CentralWL OTPTSHOMEAWAYGFGAST L10
Colorado Avalanche309363 18-0-412-0-5154101L19-0-1
Winnipeg Jets2614153 11-0-615-0-8139115L16-0-3
Minnesota Wild2513252 15-0-410-0-9124111L25-0-3
Nashville Predators2419149 13-0-911-0-10119123L18-0-2
Chicago Blackhawks2018343 11-0-89-0-10122135L15-0-5
St. Louis Blues1917442 7-0-1012-0-7122132L13-0-6
Dallas Stars1514636 8-0-67-0-8113107L24-0-3

Eastern Conference

MetropolitanWL OTPTSHOMEAWAYGFGAST L10
Washington Capitals2811258 14-0-514-0-6152127L26-0-4
Carolina Hurricanes2710256 14-0-313-0-7133102L26-0-3
New York Islanders2711357 18-0-29-0-912598L17-0-3
Pittsburgh Penguins2713256 16-0-311-0-10146118L28-0-2
New York Rangers2016444 9-0-711-0-9136112L15-0-3
Philadelphia Flyers1917240 9-0-910-0-8123154L24-0-4
Columbus Blue Jackets1520636 8-0-87-0-12112145L32-0-7
New Jersey Devils1421230 4-0-1610-0-5103135L32-0-6

Western Conference

PacificWL OTPTSHOMEAWAYGFGAST L10
Vegas Golden Knights2911058 16-0-413-0-713896L16-0-3
Edmonton Oilers2515252 13-0-812-0-7134120L16-0-2
Arizona Coyotes1920341 10-0-89-0-12118139L54-0-6
Calgary Flames1921240 10-0-99-0-12115127L44-0-6
San Jose Sharks1820238 8-0-1010-0-10114141L35-0-5
Vancouver Canucks1618234 9-0-97-0-9100120L36-0-3
Los Angeles Kings1620537 7-0-99-0-11114127L23-0-7
Anaheim Ducks1423533 5-0-149-0-9101138L25-0-4

Last Injuries

Washington Capitals

  • Ilya Samsonov

    Undisclosed
    Ques Fri | questionable

    Samsonov exited the last game with an undisclosed injury, and it is unknown if he will be available Friday versus the Devils.

Boston Bruins

  • Trent Frederic

    Illness
    Ques Thurs | questionable

    Frederic has missed the last three games due to an illness, and it is unknown if he will dress for Thursday's contest versus the Islanders.

  • Matt Grzelcyk

    Upper Body
    Ques Thurs | questionable

    Grzelcyk has missed the last two contests with an upper-body injury, and it is undetermined if he will take on the Islanders on Thursday.

  • Tuukka Rask

    Upper Body
    Ques Thurs | I-R

    Rask has been placed on the injured reserve list due to an upper-body injury, and it is unclear if he will suit up against the Islanders on Thursday.

  • Charlie McAvoy

    Upper Body
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    McAvoy has wound up on the injured reserve list due to an upper-body injury, and a timetable for recovery has yet to be established.

  • Jaroslav Halak

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Halak has been designated for the COVID-19 Protocol list, and team officials have yet to provide an exact return date.

  • Brandon Carlo

    Upper Body
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Carlo has been posted to the injured reserve list with an upper-body injury, and it is uncertain how long he will be idle.

  • Jeremy Lauzon

    Undisclosed
    Ques Mon | questionable

    Lauzon missed the last game due to an unspecified injury, and it is undetermined if he will dress for Monday's battle with the Flyers.