The Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins in Boston this afternoon 4-3 and take a series lead over the defending Stanley Cup Champs, 3-2. Most importantly, the series comes back to Washington, DC tomorrow at noon. A Caps win tomorrow would eliminate the Bruins and move the Caps into the second round of the playoffs.
The story again was some amazing goalie work by rookie net minder Braden Holtby. He let a few softies through, but saved the Caps numerous times with some exceptional saves. Overall, Holtby stopped 34 of 37 shots to pick up his third NHL playoff win.
The Caps and Bruins skated to a scoreless first period, similar to tough play throughout this series. Washington jumped on Boston in the second period, taking the 1-0 lead at the 11:16 mark of the first period on a rebound goal by Alexander Semin, his third of the playoffs. Semin put in a rebound from a Dennis Wideman bomb. A little more than three minutes later, Jay Beagle scored an unassisted goal to give the Caps a 2-0 lead. The 2-0 lead would last only three minutes when Boston put two past Holtby within 28 seconds of one another, goals by Dennis Seidenberg and Brad Marchand.
Mike Kunbule gave the Caps an early third period lead taking a rebounded shot from Joe Ward and burying it past Tim Thomas. Again, the Washington 3-2 lead would last less than five minutes when Johnny Boychuk scored the equalizer on the Boston power play. With 87 seconds to play in regulation, Troy Brouwer scored the winning goal on a power play when he sent a shot over the shoulder of Thomas.
The 4-3 win gives the Capitals their first series lead and brings the Caps back to Verizon Center for a huge opportunity to eliminate the Bruins on home ice.