BOSTON – Although they didn’t do it with just their top snipers getting the glory, the Washington Capitals ended Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas’ perfect shootout record tonight.
Speeder Alexander Semin scored one of the Capitals’ goals, but the other Washington scores came off the sticks of hard-working forwards Matt Hendricks and Brooks Laich in a shootout the Caps won 3-2 to clinch a 3-2 win in the game.
Thomas dropped to 6-1 in shootouts this season.
Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron scored in the shootout for Boston, but Rich Peverley was stopped by Michal Neuvirth before Laich’s clinching goal.
“Well, it was entertaining,” said Thomas, who stopped 21 of 23 shots in regulation and overtime. “At the end of the day it’s the same as any other shootout or what have you, but I can see how the fans enjoy it.”
The loss put a damper on a dramatic comeback Boston made. Trailing 2-0 in the third period, the Bruins scored a goal with 3:10 (David Krejci) and then 1:16 (Andrew Ference) remaining in the game.
With the shootout loss, the Bruins came up one point short of clinching a postseason berth. They will go for it against Saturday when they visit the New York Islanders.
▪Defenseman Adam McQuaid suffered an injury that the Bruins hopefully isn’t as bad as it looked. After the game, head coach Claude Julien said McQuaid suffered a cut above his eye and wasn’t feeling well so the blueliner was kept out of the game for precautionary reasons. McQuaid was hit from behind by Jason Chimera six minutes into the game. Chimera received a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct.
Julien and several other Bruins were unanimous in the notion that while unfortunate, Chimera’s hit was not a dirty play.
“Well, you know, again, when it happens to you, you also have to be honest about it,” Julien said. “I think, again, he came off the bench, and he was going hard, and maybe it was a little bit reckless, but there’s no doubt in my mind that it wasn’t intentional. You know, McQuaid, just turned at the last second and, you know, put himself in a bit of vulnerable position. But still, like, I agree with the referee’s call: it was a bit of a reckless hit, and it deserved probably a [major penalty] when you look back at the replay, and they had to make that decision. It was a tough one, but certainly wasn’t intent to injure by the player, in my mind.”
Capitals head coach Dale Hunter was equally understanding despite losing his player.
“Well, I’d seen it,” said Hunter. “The guy turned at the last second. It’s tough on the refs, I know that. But it’s one of those things that you know it’s tough for [Chimera] to stop, but you’ve got to keep playing on.”
▪In McQuaid’s absence, the Bruins were down to five defensemen and were still able to keep a strong offensive team to just two goals. Every Bruins defenseman exceeded 20 minutes, led by Zdeno Chara with 29:30.
“It’s all this stuff to lose a guy, shorter bench that’s for sure, but you just got to play the same way and keep your shifts short and keep the flow and the energy up by making good changes and smart plays and not trying to do too much or getting caught out there,” Chara said.
▪With Dennis Seidenberg out as expected, Joe Corvo returned to the lineup and logged 20:03 of ice time. He posted an even rating and failed to register a shot on net.
“It felt good. I mean, nobody likes to not be able to contribute to the team and just practice every day and not get to play in games,” he said. “So it felt good to be a part of the team again in a game situation.”
▪Brian Rolston’s point streak ended at seven games. Chara now has 3-4-7 totals in his last six games after he assisted on Krejci’s goal.