The Bruins snapped out of their funk in a big way Sunday with an impressive 4-1 win at Washington. Tim Thomas was stellar between the pipes making 35 saves in the win while Brad Marchand and Rich Peverley each had a goal and an assist to lead the Bruins attack. Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic also scored for Boston and Patrice Bergeron had two assists.
Bruins playing Bruins hockey: After veering away from their brand of hockey and their defensive-based system, the Bruins returned to form Sunday. They were tight in their own zone and as a result were moving the puck up ice better than they had been over the last three games. As it did in November and December, the Bruins’ system translated into better offensive chances. Another key to their game Sunday was the net-front presence in front of Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun. Lucic did a great job of driving to the net on his first period goal and net-front presence was instrumental on the Marchand goal in the opening frame and Seguin’s third-period goal.
Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin line heats up: The Bruins’ best line this season had been relatively quiet the last three games, but they woke up in a big way on Sunday as Marchand had a goal and an assist, Bergeron had two assists and Seguin scored his 20th goal. They were dangerous all game.
Thomas shines in second straight start: In a surprise move, Bruins head coach Claude Julien decided to start Thomas for a second straight game and Thomas didn’t disappoint making 35 saves. Thomas came up with a number of big saves, none bigger than when he made a pad save on an Alexander Semin breakaway bid late in the first to preserve a 2-0 lead at the time. That save seemed to set the tone that Thomas was going to be very difficult to beat.
Horton set to skate: Nathan Horton, out since January 22 with a mild concussion, was scheduled to skate Sunday according to head coach Claude Julien, who addressed the media prior to Sunday’s game. If the skate went well, Horton could resume practicing with the team this week without contact. There is still no timetable on his return to the lineup.
Chara owns Ovechkin again: Alex Ovechkin hasn’t been his normal dominating self this season and that wasn’t any different Sunday with Zdeno Chara blanketing the Caps star. Chara has always done a great job of shutting down Ovechkin and he did it again on Sunday, suffocating the Capitals captain and holding him to no points. Chara was a plus-3 in 25:49 of ice time and Ovechkin was a minus-2 in 22:49.
Caron in; Hamill scratched: After being recalled from Providence on Saturday but sitting out as a healthy scratch, winger Jordan Caron was back in the Bruins lineup skating in Zach Hamill’s spot. Hamill had only two points in 16 games with the Bruins this season and head coach Claude Julien apparently decided it is time for Caron to get another chance to stick with the big club. Here’s what the lineup looked like Sunday:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Rich Peverley
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Jordan Caron
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk