Bruins-Capitals: Boston get Cap-sized in Washington

Dino MoriAnalyst IMarch 3, 2008

Everyone's entitled to a night off. 

The Boston Bruins, one of the hottest teams in the NHL, got run over by a Russian train in Washington on Monday night.

Alexander Ovechkin scored a hat trick during a six-goal first period explosion as the Capitals blasted the visiting Bruins 10-2 at the MCI Center.

Despite the loss, the Boston Bruins have been one of the pleasant surprises in the 2007-2008 NHL season.

Boston has won six of their past seven games and are solidly in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings.

The Bruins overcame a huge setback earlier this season when they lost the services of sniper Patrice Bergeron. 

Bergeron was leveled from behind by Flyers' defenseman Randy Jones and went head first into the boards.  He suffered a serious concussion and broken nose and has been absent from the Bruins lineup since late October.

Bergeron has begun skating again without the headaches, but his strength and conditioning still remain an issue; he has not ruled out the possibility of playing in the post season.

Boston has also played nearly the entire year without free agent goalie acquisition Manny Fernandez, who underwent knee surgery in December after hurting it during a Bruins practice.  The former Minnesota Wild was expected to be the team's number one netminder.

Fernandez's backup, Tim Thomas, has been nothing short of brilliant.  He is second only to Pittsburgh's Ty Conklin in save percentage and ranks in the top 20 in goalie wins with 23

To their credit, the B's have gotten help from some unexpected sources as well.  Namely, Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Chuck Kobasew. 

Lucic has provided the B's with energy and physicality, even surviving two broken noses in the process.  Meanwhile, Krejci and Kobasew have responded with some timely goals to offset the loss of Bergeron.

Boston center Marc Savard has blossomed into one of the top playmakers in the NHL.  Going into their game against Washington, Savard led the league in assists with 59, two ahead of San Jose's Joe Thornton, the former Bruin. 

Defenseman Zdeno Chara should be a candidate for the Norris Trophy.  The 6' 9" blueliner has been a tower of power at the Bruins backend, scored 15 times and is a plus ten on the season.

Having said all this, you can forgive the Bruins for taking a night off in the nation's capital.