Boston defeated Washington 3-1 on Tuesday at the Verizon Center and looked to extend their current win streak to four games.
Tim Thomas, who played the last three games, got the nod to stand between the pipes again as his play is reminiscent of the 2008-2009 season.
The first period was in the Capitals' favor and they seemed to want that win back as they heavily outplayed the Bruins and out shot them 13-8.
Michael Ryder finally ended the perfect penalty kill of the Capitals with just 28 seconds left of the opening period on Washington Netminder Seymon Varlamov. Ryder got a pass from Patrice Bergeron who looked like he was going to shoot from the slot but instead opted to Ryder who was standing at Varlamov's right side and the Bruins got the 1-0 lead.
It didn't take long for the Bruins to extend the lead. With just 2:22 played in the second frame, Jordan Caron netted his second career goal on a nice pass by Bergeron. Bergeron was behind the Washington net and he quickly did a reversal backhand right to a charging Caron who snapped it glove side—2-0 Bruins.
Nathan Horton continued to show that the investment to pick him up was a great idea. Mark Recchi was skating along the right side boards and quickly backhanded to Horton who was all alone on the point. He quickly skated to the slot and ripped a bullet to earn the second power play goal of the game and the second power play goal allowed by the Capitals so far this season—3-0 Bruins.
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas ruined his own bid for a shutout by trying to clear a puck with Jason Chimera rushing up the ice towards him. At the clearing attempt, Chimera stuck out his stick to completely stop the puck dead. This left a scrambling Thomas completely out of the net and and a sprawling Andrew Ference, while E for effort, Chimera makes no mistake and the score was 3-1 Bruins.
In the last two and a half minutes, the Capitals got a power play on Bergeron's tripping call giving Washington another late opportunity to place the game within reach. Like much of the final two periods, Boston shut the door on Washington and ended up getting a late power play of their own with a Too Many Men call against the Capitals with just 26 seconds left of the game.
Ten seconds later, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara wasted no time as he blasted one from the point to add the third power play goal of the game, putting the Bruins three-for-four on the man advantage.
Chara received a pass from Johnny Boychuk who was in the slot. Boychuk passed it to Chara, who one-times a bullet to put the game to bed for a final score of 4-1 for the Boston Bruins.
With the exception of the flubbed clearing attempt that resulted in a goal for Washington, Thomas played exceptionally well having stopped 38 of 39 shots.
There were many great saves he made, but the shot most noted was that of Mike Knuble who was all alone to Thomas' left and had a wide open net. It was until Thomas stuck the left pad out and toe saved the puck from counting.
To say that the Tim Thomas of the 2008-2009 season is back is looking more and more accurate as his never give up on the play style was pretty evident in all four starts so far.
Tuukka Rask has yet to start a game since the season opener in Prague to which they lost to the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2. Although it wasn't a great start for the young Finnish goalie, it was not solely his fault for the loss. Fans hope that the great goalie tandem will return to Beantown.
Milan Lucic and Horton are continuing is point streak to all five games played so far this season.
Next up are the New York Rangers to visit the Garden on Saturday, October 23 @ 7 pm EST
This is Cory Ducey saying "Hit Hard, but Keep It Clean."