NHL Playoffs 2012: Boston Bruins Take Game 1

Cory DuceyAnalyst IIIApril 12, 2012

(Photo by Brian Babineau NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Babineau NHLI via Getty Images)

The seventh-place Washington Capitals took on the second-place Boston Bruins at the TD BankNorth Garden for Game 1 of their NHL quarterfinal series.

This is the third time that these two have met in the postseason, and the previous matchups went a series apiece.

Opening Frame

The Bruins were applying the pressure early in the game, and young Braden Holtby held his own.

Both teams were playing cautiously as no one wants to give up an inch of ice and make a mistake that could cost them the game.

There were plenty of hits, with Alex Ovechkin being Chara's No. 1 target.

Scoreless after 20 minutes.  Bruins edged the Caps in shots on goal 9-5.


Second Period

Dennis Seidenburg lined up Ovechkin for a solid hit.  It seems to be more and more apparent that one of the Bruins' game plans is to wear Ovechkin down.  From the replay, I'd say Seidenburg may have gotten the worse of that one.

It got a little testy when Carlson helped David Krejci into Holtby, and the refs tossed both of them into the Sin Bin.

(Photo by Brian Babineau NHLI via Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Babineau NHLI via Getty Images)

Shortly after, Holtby let a Bruin have it in a similar fashion that Tim Thomas gave it to a certain Vancouver Canuck in the Finals last year.  The difference?  The Bruin was not in the crease when contacted.  Holtby was called for roughing.

Nothing came out of it.

After 40 minutes, the game was still scoreless.  If it weren't for Holtby, this game could have been a blowout up to this point.

The shots on goal after two periods were 26-7 in favour of the Bruins.


Final Frame

Chara was sent to the box for cross-checking Brooks Laich, and the Caps went on the their second power play.  Twice the Caps had good chances, but Thomas was up to the task, and the Bruins played good puck support to prevent any damage.

After the power play, it was the Caps generating the pressure at the Bruins' end as they held Boston without a shot on net for most of the period.

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 12:  Chris Kelly #23 of the Boston Bruins celebrates his game winning goal in overtime with Brian Rolston #12 as Dennis Wideman #6 of the Washington Capitals skates off in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012
Elsa/Getty Images

Brad Marchand tried to sell a couple of calls, but the refs put the whistles in their pockets.

Milan Lucic whiffed on a shot that was empty as Holtby tried to play the puck from behind the net and nearly caused the scoreboard to be broken in.

Chris Kelly nearly got the first goal late in regulation, but the Caps and Holtby prevented it.

With 93 seconds left of the game and the Caps on an icing call,  the Caps took their time-out.

Regulation ended without a goal, sending the game to extra fun...otherwise known as overtime.

Washington out-shot the Bruins in the third period, 9-3, for the first time in the game.  Regulation shots on net was still for the Bruins, 29-16.



There was only one goal in the game, and that was scored by Boston's Chris Kelly 

Alexander Semin made a shot at the Boston net, and Thomas redirected the puck to Joe Corvo.  Corvo passed it to Brian Rolson, who saw Benoit Pouliot.  Pouliot passed to a charging Kelly, who had the angle on Dennis Wideman. Wideman couldn't get to Kelly before he ripped it past Holtby glove-side.

Holtby was near perfect in the game, but the goal was a result of him drifting to his right. He just couldn't get the glove up on time.

If the Caps are looking to win in this series, they need to give their young net minder the same confidence that Thomas has in his team's puck support.

The Bruins take the open game and the series lead 1-0.  15 wins to go...


This is Cory Ducey saying "Hit Hard, But Keep It Clean."