Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals’ highly regarded power play continue to roll.
The Boston Bruins have added some depth on defense as they welcome Ovechkin back to town for the second time in six days.
These teams meet again Thursday night, with the Bruins looking for a third straight victory since a weekend loss to the Capitals.
Boston (39-17-5) fell 4-2 on Saturday, allowing two power-play goals to Ovechkin in six chances for Washington. That’s not surprising since Ovechkin has scored 18 of his 44 goals on the power play to lead the league in both categories.
The Capitals (29-24-10) are second in the NHL with the man advantage at 23.0 percent.
Washington is 8 for 14 on the power play in its last four road games although its three such tallies came too late in Wednesday’s 6-4 loss at Philadelphia in which it conceded the first four goals.
"I know this team can score goals, a lot of teams can score goals in the East," said winger Dustin Penner, who made his club debut after being acquired Tuesday. "Especially when you go into opposing teams’ rinks, it’s best to get a good start, first 10 minutes, first shift, keep it 0-0, things like that, don’t let the crowd get into it and we weren’t able to do that tonight."
While Penner was one of the biggest acquisitions before the trade deadline for Washington, Boston did not make any major moves. The Bruins added two defensemen Wednesday, acquiring Andrej Meszaros from the Flyers and obtaining Corey Potter on waivers.
”We acquired these two players for depth,” general manager Peter Chiarelli said, ”and when I say for depth, I just want to be clear, it doesn’t mean that they’re just reserves. It means I look at our defensive corps as a whole, and we’re just bolstering that corps and we’ve got a lot of games in a short period of time.”
Boston’s blue line has been weakened with the loss of Dennis Seidenberg (torn ACL, MCL) for the season and the absence of Adam McQuaid since Jan. 19 due to a leg injury.
Meszaros has played 38 games this season with five goals and 12 assists.
"This year wasn’t working out obviously for me, I wasn’t playing much, I was in and out of the lineup so I am happy now that I have the opportunity to play hopefully more consistent(ly)," Meszaros said.
The Bruins have bounced back since the defeat to the Capitals with wins by 6-3 over the New York Rangers on Sunday and 4-1 at home over Florida on Tuesday. David Krejci had two assists in the first contest and turned in his third career hat trick in the second.
Boston No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask is 0-2-3 with a 3.58 goals-against average in five starts against Washington.
Washington goalie Braden Holtby was chased Wednesday after he gave up four goals on 18 shots, with Philipp Grubauer replacing him.
The Capitals acquired goalie Jaroslav Halak from Buffalo on Wednesday, and he’s expected to split time with Holtby. It’s uncertain if Halak, who has a 1.66 GAA in winning his last four starts against Boston, will make his debut Thursday.
Ovechkin has five goals and four assists in his last six games for the Capitals, who have lost consecutive games to the Flyers since a four-game streak.
"Tomorrow’s going to be a big game," Ovechkin said. "Hopefully everyone is going to regroup and play well."