Alex Ovechkin scored the only goal of a shootout as the Washington Capitals came back to tie the Boston Bruins twice and escaped with a 4-3 win at Capital One Arena. Goalie Anton Khudobin made 31 saves in the loss, several of them at crucial points in the game to keep the B’s afloat.
But in the end, Ovechkin and the Capitals were just barely too much to overcome. Washington fought back from down 2-0 in the second period, first with Lars Eller’s third goal of the season. Boston declined to challenge that the Capitals committed offside seconds earlier, despite replays showing potential evidence of a violation.
Ovechkin fired his 24th goal of the season past Khudobin on the power play just 1 minute, 36 seconds later to tie the game at two.
Alex Ovechkin: Still Superb
Ovechkin’s 24th goal of the season ties him for the NHL lead with the Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov, who didn’t score on Thursday. Altogether, he has three goals and an assist in three games against the Bruins this season.
For the shootout winner, Ovechkin simply ripped a quick wrister over Khudobin’s glove after he dangled close to the net.
Backes Stays Hot
Despite the disappointing end to the game, the Bruins got off to a strong start. The surging line of Danton Heinen, Riley Nash, and David Backes got the scoring started early in the first period. Nash first gained possession in the corner and flipped a nifty backhand pass to Backes in the slot. Then, No. 42 slapped the puck home for his sixth goal of the season.
Backes tilted a tense third period in the Bruins’ favor when he buried his second goal of the night. Equally important, Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, and Charlie McAvoy all made heads-up plays to keep the puck alive.
Just 49 seconds after Backes’ first goal, Noel Acciari whipped around the back of the net for a wrap-around attempt. He finished the rebound up high for his third of the season on the fine individual effort. Despite that, it’s just his first goal since Dec. 13.
The Capitals again tied it in the third when the puck appeared to carom in off Kevan Miller’s skate. As a result, Brett Connolly got credited with the goal. The teams ended up tied with 34 shots on goal each after three periods and overtime.
Following the loss, the Bruins have now lost 12 straight games to the Capitals. They are 0-9-3 in that span.
Up Next: The Bruins face the Senators for the second time in four nights on Saturday at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.