BOSTON – A Johnny Boychuk miscue turned into a Nicklas Backstrom goal with just 2:56 elapsed in double overtime as the Washington Capitals beat the Bruins 2-1 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at TD Garden.
Backstrom had just lost a faceoff to Patrice Bergeron, when Boychuk fanned on a clearing attempt. Marcus Johansson wound up with the puck below the goal line, and he passed it to Backstrom for the game-winning goal from the left faceoff dot.
Backstrom’s shot beat Tim Thomas high to the stick side.
“I don’t know if it hopped or he poked it or something happened and I don’t know what,” Boychuk said. “I didn’t really see the replay. I know as soon as it hopped over he passed it back and then that guy shot and scored.”
Said Thomas: “I just had time to yell ‘screen’ and then I think I picked it up about halfway to me, but it was one of those knuckle [shots]. You can’t get a read on exactly where it’s going. It is what it was.”
For more on Backstrom and the Capitals’ victory, read my NHL.com recap.
The series is now tied 1-1. Game 3 is scheduled for Monday night in Washington
▪With Benoit Pouliot scoring the Bruins’ only goal, Boston’s third line has now matched the output of Washington’s top six in the series. Absent from the score sheet has been the Bruins’ top six forwards – Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Rich Peverley, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin.
For more on Boston’s offensive struggles, read my CBSBoston.com column. But to me, here’s the money quote from the always-honest Krejci. He was asked if the Washington defense pair of Karl Alzner and John Carlson was too tough to play against.
“I just don’t think we’re playing our game, especially my line,” he said. “I don’t know what it is, but we have to find a way to help each other out there. Sometimes it seems like one guy’s working the two others are just waiting and hoping for the puck to get a good scoring chance. It doesn’t work like that. We’ve got to help each other out there, and if we do that, we have good players and we have a good team and if you do that we should be able to get some scoring chances.”
It’ll be interesting to see how the Bruins respond in Game 3 now that they’re offense wasted a great defensive and goaltending effort.
▪Pouliot scored his goal by going to the net and flipping a backhander past Braden Holtby. There was then a collision between the two players.
“Well I think I kneed him pretty good in the head, but no I think the puck went in first so it was fine,” said Pouliot.
▪When Thomas allowed Washington’s first goal to Troy Brouwer at 17:57 of the second period, he had his playoff shutout streak snapped at 161 minutes, 41 seconds. He hadn’t allowed a postseason goal since Game 6 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.