Rapid reaction: Capitals 4, Bruins 3

BOSTON -- So much for consistency. The Bruins had another average effort at best and as a result their first win streak since Jan. 12 was snapped at two as they lost 4-3 to the Capitals.

Washington took a two-goal lead twice and held on behind a 30-save performance from Tomas Vokoun. At the other end, Tim Thomas didn’t look bad with 26 saves, but only Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and Johnny Boychuk could beat Vokoun. Alexander Semin had a goal and an assist and Dmitry Orlov had two assists to lead the Capitals.

Bruins looking ahead again? Following last Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Islanders, some Bruins acknowledged that they may have been caught looking ahead to their big tilt with the Rangers on Sunday. Well, that may have been the case today as well, because the Bruins looked absolutely unprepared for a hungry Capitals team playing for their playoff lives. Boston fell behind two goals early and then again in the second period, and never recovered. Were they preoccupied with their game at Pittsburgh tomorrow afternoon?

Boychuk earning his money. Since returning to the lineup last Saturday after missing two games with a concussion, defenseman Johnny Boychuk has looked just fine and is earning the new three-year contract he signed last month. Boychuk continued his physical play and scored for the second straight game.

Lucic and Caron stay hot. Milan Lucic got his seventh point in his last six games with his 23rd goal of the season when he beat Tomas Vokoun with six ticks left in the first period. Lucic now has a six-game scoring streak going with two goals and five assists over that span. Jordan Caron also stayed hot with his seventh point in his last four games notching an assist on Boychuk’s goal.

Marchand snaps goalless streak. Brad Marchand had been rather quiet over the last two weeks as he went six games without a goal and was not his usual pest self on the ice. But today Marchand looked more like “the little ball of hate” -- as President Obama called him back in January -- and was buzzing around the ice. His hustle paid off in the second period when he picked up a loose puck and scored at 4:58 of the middle frame. Marchand also assisted on Johnny Boychuk’s second goal in two games. The Bruins need Marchand to step up consistently as he did in the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Bergeron continues to dominate the faceoff dot. Patrice Bergeron continued his dominance at the faceoff dot, winning 15 of 23 faceoffs. He had a key faceoff win in the first period when he took the puck off the faceoff and fed Lucic for his goal.

Pouliot out with lower body injury; Mottau plays wing. Forward Benoit Pouliot was a late scratch Saturday due to a lower-body injury he suffered in the second period of the Bruins’ 5-4 win at Toronto on Tuesday. Pouliot battled through the injury the last three days but apparently the pain was too much today. As a result of Pouliot’s absence, defenseman Greg Zanon was back in the lineup and fellow rearguard Mike Mottau was moved up to forward on the wing with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton.

Here’s what the lineup looked like Saturday:

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Brian Rolston

Lane MacDermid-Chris Kelly-Jordan Caron

Mike Mottau-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk

Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo

Greg Zanon-Adam McQuaid

Tim Thomas

Marty Turco