The Bruins blew an early 3-0 lead and lost their second straight game, 4-3 in overtime to the Capitals, Tuesday night at Washington.
Eric Fehr (goal; two assists) completed the comeback for the Caps as he dangled through the Bruins defense and beat Tuukka Rask (22 saves) just 37 seconds into the extra frame. The Capitals, who trailed 3-0 after the first period, tied the game with 6:05 left in regulation on a Wojtek Wolski goal after getting second-period goals from Mike Ribiero and Tomas Kundratek.
The Bruins got goals from Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton, but could not beat Braden Holtby (30 saves) after the first period as the goalie who stonewalled them in their first-round playoff loss last spring stifled them again.
Defensive lapses, another blown lead -- For the last three games of their recent six-game win streak, the Bruins were not at their best, suffering plenty of mental and more specifically, defensive lapses. That finally caught up to them in Sunday's loss to the Canadiens as they completely fell apart in the third period, blowing a 3-2 lead. On Tuesday, the Bruins seemed poised to correct those lapses as they jumped out to 3-0 lead in the first period. But then they fell back into those bad habits as they allowed the Capitals to dictate play and cut the lead to 3-2 after two. Andrew Ference continues to struggle on the blue line as he was minus-1 and Johnny Boychuk, who has played well of late, was minus-2. But this was a teamwide collapse and this trend needs to be corrected soon.
Marchand keeps lighting lamp -- Marchand got his team-leading 12th goal of the season on a shorthanded penalty shot and continues to prove that the monster start by the pesky winger is no fluke. Marchand continues to prove he can score in many different scenarios. He will get even-strength goals, shorthanded goals, power-play goals, shootout and penalty-shot goals, and most importantly clutch or tempo-setting goals with four game-winners. He also continues to balance that fine line between being a scorer and a successful agitator.
Krejci back to normal -- David Krejci has had a solid season and has consistently been a factor on offense. He's played more physical and shown he is willing to pay the price to help his team score. But against the Canadiens on Sunday, he easily had his worst game of the season. On Tuesday, Krejci looked more like the determined Krejci as he had two assists. His first helper included some sacrifice as he took a Chara shot in the groin that Chara was able to pinch in and grab for the goal.
Hamilton getting hot again -- Hamilton got his third goal of the season and scored for the second straight game. He has two goals and two assists in his last four games. The first-year rearguard has hit some rookie walls and seen his minutes decrease at times, but it appears Claude Julien's approach is working. Hamilton continues to look at home on the power play as he was able to score another goal on the man-advantage. Two of his three goals have come on the power play.
Thornton finally finds a partner -- It's not like Shawn Thornton hasn't been looking for a fight, but the Bruins enforcer hadn't dropped the gloves since he suffered a concussion from a fight with Sabres tough guy John Scott on Jan. 31. On Tuesday, Thornton finally found a dance partner as he and Caps defenseman John Erskine did the tango, with Thornton getting the win, knocking Erskine to the ice with a right hook.
Bourque returns; Pandolfo sits -- After sitting up top in the press box for his team's 4-3 loss to the Canadiens on Sunday, forward Chris Bourque was in the lineup against his former team. Bourque was dealt to the Bruins last May and the guess here is Julien was hoping that playing his former team would provide a spark for Bourque, who has struggled thus far with just a goal and four assists on the season. Things didn’t get much better as he was a minus-2 with no points Tuesday.
Here's what the lineup looked like:
Daniel Paille-Greg Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Dougie Hamilton
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid