By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Bruins will begin the true 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs looking for their first win inside the bubble, as a 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals dropped the Bruins to 0-3-0 in round-robin play, and locked the Bruins into the No. 4 seed in the East.
This one was just as painful as the losses that came before, too, with a dominant first period from the Bruins thrown out the window by way of a TJ Oshie goal scored with 16 seconds remaining in the frame.
Scored on what was just the second shot of the game for Washington, Oshie took advantage of a slow reaction from Zdeno Chara to corral a Tuukka Rask rebound that likely should've kicked out to the corner on an easy whack from Boston's captain.
Lower angle look. Chara was trying to skate the puck away from the net but Oshie got to it pic.twitter.com/mP5ST99PQx
It was a similar gut-punch to the one the Bruins felt with Tyler Johnson's game-winning goal with a minute and a half left in regulation on Wednesday, and paved the way for what was a truly lifeless-looking second period from the Bruins.
Hammering Braden Holtby for 10 shots in the second period, the Bruins failed to generate much of anything, with their best chance coming on a net-front scramble that saw the Nick Ritchie-Charlie Coyle-Anders Bjork trio (somehow) unable to hammer the puck into a vacated cage.
Down by just one through 40 minutes of play, the B's deficit was doubled on a Tom Wilson sneak-and-finish with the Boston defense of Jeremy Lauzon and Charlie McAvoy caught hunting for offense.
The Bruins would finally respond in the third period, however, and off the stick of one of their slumping wings, with Jake DeBrusk sneaking one through Holtby at the 10:30 mark of the frame.
Not done [email protected] | #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/s3IIegutOi
It was an absolutely gigantic goal for DeBrusk, who had just two shots on goal through his first 40 minutes and change of round-robin play, and was a nice sample of what this second line might be able to do with Ondrej Kase on the right side.
As mentioned, the Bruins have locked themselves into the No. 4 seed with this loss and will play the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Bruins, who swept Carolina for the Prince of Wales Trophy last May, defeated the Hurricanes in their lone 2019-20 head-to-head.
Listen to Ty Anderson and Matt Dolloff give their postgame thoughts after the Bruins lost to the Capitals:
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.