The Boston Bruins outlasted the Washington Capitals on Sunday with a 6-3 win that featured plenty of offense and physicality. Both teams scored in bunches, as the B’s went up 2-0 early before going down 3-2, then scoring four unanswered to secure the win. The game turned into more of a slugfest in the third period, with the Bruins keeping the Caps at bay.
Boston didn’t break through on the scoresheet until they were shorthanded late in the first period. Taking advantage of Brad Marchand’s typically elite shorthanded forecheck, Patrice Bergeron found the slot with a bouncing puck and gathered it for a backhand goal to make it 1-0.
Bergeron’s SH goal was the Bruins’ eighth as a team, tying them with the Montreal Canadiens for the NHL lead in that category.
Less than two minutes later, David Krejci extended the Bruins’ lead to two. B’s defenseman Connor Clifton joined the rush with Krejci and Craig Smith, then gained possession in the corner before flipping it in front for a waiting Krejci. The tip-in marked Krejci’s fourth goal of the season and second in four games since acquiring Taylor Hall, and his fourth straight game with a point.
The Caps found their way onto the scoreboard with just 10 seconds remaining in the first period, when T.J. Oshie beat Bruins deadline addition Mike Reilly down the ice to the net-front and buried the rebound past goaltender Tuukka Rask. They would carry that momentum into the second period, when they took full advantage of a double-minor high-sticking penalty against Bruins defenseman Connor Clifton.
First, Oshie scored his second of the game on a one-timer in the slot. Then just 1:06 later, still on the man advantage, Capitals deadline addition Anthony Mantha flipped a wrist shot from the point far-side past Rask to give his team the lead.
The Bruins’ top line quickly answered. Less than two minutes later, Brad Marchand scored his 22nd goal of the season at even strength. Defenseman Charlie McAvoy sparked the play as he led the forecheck and got the puck to Patrice Bergeron, who fed it in front to Pastrnak for the first chance. Marchand collected the juicy rebound and put it home to tie it back up.
Boston’s veteran forwards weren’t done there, though. Later in the second, Krejci broke the tie when he patiently dangled around Caps defenseman Dmitry Orlov and ripped it past goalie Vitek Vanecek to make it 4-3 Bruins.
And just 1:43 after that, Bergeron finished a centering feed from David Pastrnak to put the B’s back up two.
Bergeron’s second goal was No. 21,000 in team history. Sunday also marked the first time ever that Bergeron and Krejci scored twice in the same game.
Things got more chippy in the third period. Capitals forward Tom Wilson got himself into yet another controversy, making head contact against the Bruins’ Sean Kuraly with his elbow. Wilson was not penalized on the play. However, Caps forward Garnet Hathaway received a major and game misconduct after boarding the Bruins’ Jarred Tinordi and making him bleed in the process.
Rask made 30 saves in all. That included eight stops in the third period, four of which came on high-danger scoring chances.
The Bruins take the ice next on the road against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.