The WashingtonCapitals took the game to the Boston Bruins right out of the gate and looked like it was going to be a rough night for the visitors. They built what should have been a demoralizing, and insurmountable, three-goal lead. Instead of rolling over, though, the Bruin’s stuck with it and tipped the ice heavily in their favor in the second half of the contest, and secured themselves a point as a result.
The Capitals wasted no time in jumping out to the lead, scoring just 23 seconds into the game. Evgeny Kuznetsov obtained the puck at the top of the zone and sent it in the direction of the Boston net. The shot climbed up Chara’s stick and floated toward the cage, where Justin Williams redirected it past Rask to put Washington up one.
— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) December 8, 2016
The two combined for another goal just over seven minutes later when Kuznetsov lost control of a puck in the slot, which Williams picked up and buried it for his second of the game.
Later on in the first, Matt Niskanen took an uncharacteristic hit from Patrice Bergeron and left the game due to injury.
The Caps looked to be running away with the game in the early stages of the second period. Just under six minutes into the middle frame, Jay Beagle fed a beautiful pass to Daniel Winnik on an odd-man rush, who ripped one by Rask to make it a three-goal lead. The Capitals soon lost all the momentum, though, and flat-out stopped generating offense. Washington wouldn’t register another shot until over halfway through the third period.
Boston began chipping away at the lead with 3:25 left to go in the second when a sloppy clearance from Holtby put the puck right into the hands of Anton Blidh, who got one through Holtby. Dominic Moore made sure it made its way across the line to cut the deficit to two.
David Pastrnak netted yet another beautiful goal off of a self-generated turnover with a minute left to go in the second period to put Boston right back into it.
What an unreal sequence for David Pastrnak pic.twitter.com/8bXV4ucuPD
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 8, 2016
Tom Wilson gave Boston a chance to equalize on the powerplay by interfering with Dominic Moore 6:21 into the third frame. Colin Miller was the man to even the score with a blast of a slapshot in the waning seconds of the man advantage.
Colin Miller’s PPG ties things up in DC! 3-3! pic.twitter.com/pytmwpX1jc
— Weekend at Bergy’s (@weekendatbergys) December 8, 2016
Boston carried the majority of the play in the second half of the game. From the Winnik goal to the end of the third, the Bruins outshot Washington 23-6.
Niklas Backstrom netted the game winner on a give-and-go with Nate Schmidt to give the Capitals the victory 1:36 into the extra frame. While the result was certainly disappointing for the Bruins, the fact that they were able to pull a point out of a game in which they trailed 3-0 was definitely something positive.
WSH – Justin Williams (3) assisted by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alexander Ovechkin
WSH – Justin Williams (4) assisted by Evgeny Kuznetsov
WSH – Daniel Winnik (4) assisted by Jay Beagle
BOS – Dominic Moore (7) assisted by Anton Blidh
BOS – David Pastrnak (16) unassisted
BOS – Colin Miller (2) assisted by Austin Czarnik and Brad Marchand
WSH – Nicklas Backstrom (8) assisted by Nate Schmidt and Marcus Johansson
THW Three Stars
First: Justin Williams (2 goals)
Second: Evgeny Kuznetsov (2 assists)
Third: Nicklas Backstrom (GWG)
Cam is a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Maryland. He’s the Boston Bruins Beat Writer at The Hockey Writers, and is an avid college hockey fan. Find him on Twitter @CamHasbrouck!