With the team missing Alex Ovechkin (suspension), Nicklas Backstrom (injury) and Mike Green (injury), expectations for the Capitals’ Tuesday night tilt against the Boston Bruins were not high. In fact, most commentators expected the Bruins to steamroll the Caps like so much Boston asphalt.
The Bruins, however, were in for some rude awakenings as the Capitals refused to roll over and die, even when facing a Bruins’ team with a +71 goal differential. Early on, it looked like the Caps were going to be the walking dead, like they were in recent shutout losses to the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes. A crossing pass by Rich Peverley bounced off Karl Alzner’s stick and found the back of the net to leave the Capitals down early.
But the Caps roared back and picked up their play, winning battles along the dirty glass and in the offensive zone. Cody Eakin opened the scoring for Washington, sneaking a trickler through the pads of Tuuka Rask to tie up the game.
Matthieu Perreault sandwiched his first two goals of the night, both beautiful sneaky wrist shots (one on a breakaway) around a Boston goal by Tyler Seguin that came on an awful defensive giveaway by John Carlson. Brad Marchand scored late in the second period to even things up for the Bruins.
Talk about going out in style – the game winning goal was scored by diminutive French Canadian Matthieu Perreault, his third of the night, a notable accomplishment for a player with only 15 NHL goals until tonight. All-star Dennis Wideman added an empty-net goal to seal the win for the Capitals and send the crowd home with free wings.
This was definitely a quality win for the Capitals, and it should be interesting to see what memories remain the next time the two teams meet, which will be in a Sunday hardcore matinee before the Super Bowl on February 5th.