Bruins beat Caps in shootout
In a last-day-of-the-season game that had no effect on the
standings, Alex Ovechkin and his teammates tried their best to win
the two-time reigning MVP some more individual hardware.
The result was a big zero, as in neither a goal nor an assist
for Ovechkin in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins. The game
ended his chase for the overall scoring title – Vancouver’s Henrik
Sedin gets the honor – although Ovechkin still had a chance to
share the goal-scoring crown pending the outcome of Sunday’s other
“Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose, so congrats to Sedin,”
Ovechkin said. “He deserved it. He played great. We all tried, but
some get it, some don’t.”
Ovechkin ends the season with 50 goals, quite a feat considering
he missed 10 games due to injuries and suspensions. He began the
day tied with Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and one goal ahead of
Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, both of whom played later. Ovechkin was
trying to become the first player to win the Maurice Richard Trophy
three years in a row since Brett Hull (1990-92).
Ovechkin also piled up 109 points to finish three behind Sedin
for the Art Ross Trophy.
Of course, Ovechkin could have other trophies in store. He’s
certainly a front-runner to win the Hart Trophy for MVP again, and
the Capitals are top contenders to capture their first Stanley
“It doesn’t take away from the year he had,” coach Bruce
Boudreau said. “He didn’t get any points today. Sometimes you just
can’t dig it up to do it. Boston looked to me like their whole
concern was not to let Alex score. So we’ll get back to normal. I’m
glad the whole race thing is over.”
The Capitals then retreated to a team dinner, where they would
keep an eye on the scoreboard to see which team – Montreal or the
New York Rangers – they will face in the first round of the
playoffs. The Bruins had a similar bit of suspense, waiting to
learn whether Buffalo or New Jersey would be first up on their
David Krejci and Miroslav Satan scored in the shootout for the
Bruins, who ended the regular season on a three-game winning
streak. Ovechkin and the Capitals’ other top scorers didn’t take
part in the shootout as Boudreau gave Boyd Gordon and Matt Bradley
rare – but unsuccessful – chances against Boston backup goalie Tim
Two Washington players did achieve major personal benchmarks.
Alexander Semin reached the 40-goal mark for the first time and
also notched his 300th career point.
Also, defenseman Jeff Schultz became the first Capitals player
to lead the league in plus-minus rating. He was plus-2 for the
game, putting him at plus-50 for season.
Eric Belanger and Mike Knuble also scored for the Capitals, who
had a five-game winning streak snapped.
Michael Ryder scored twice in the first period, and Marco Sturm
tied the game with 4:18 remaining in regulation for the Bruins.
“It’s nice getting a little momentum going into the playoffs,”
Boston left wing Shawn Thornton said, “and it was nice seeing
everybody come to work when we had our best players out.”
With both teams’ seeds in the Eastern Conference playoffs
already secured – Washington at No. 1, Boston at No. 6 – the game
provided an extra day of rest for many regulars. Among the
scratches for Boston were Patrice Bergeron, Andrew Ference, Mark
Recchi, Zdeno Chara, Mark Stuart and Vladimir Sobotka. Thomas made
34 saves in place of Tuukka Rask. Center Zach Hamill got an assist
in his first NHL game.
Tomas Fleischmann, Eric Fehr, Quintin Laing, Tyler Sloan and
John Erskine had the day off for Washington. Boudreau has yet to
announce his No. 1 goaltender for the playoffs, so Semyon Varlamov
got the start and made 35 saves in his bid to win the job over Jose
The Capitals sold out every home game this season for the first
time in franchise history and finished with a club record 121
points in the standings, the first team outside of the NHL’s
Original Six to reach the 120 mark.
“We’re glad it’s over,” Boudreau said. “We knew for a long
time we were going to be in the playoffs, so as much as you want to
push them, they’re looking forward to a different kind of
NOTES: Thomas unloaded a series of haymakers on Capitals LW
Jason Chimera after Chimera was bumped into the Bruins goaltender
in the first period. “Looking at the replay, I overreacted,”
Thomas said. “It wasn’t as bad as I felt like it was at the time.
But I hadn’t played in a while and I needed to do something to get
myself in the game.” Chimera’s response: “Overreacted? The guy
punches me with the blocker five times in the face and doesn’t take
his mask off. It’s called stupidity, not overreacting.” Thomas was
given 4 minutes for roughing, while Chimera got 2 minutes for
goaltender interference. Chimera later received a 10-minute
misconduct after jawing at other players while making a move toward
Thomas. Chimera then committed a cross-checking penalty in the
second period, but later drew a penalty on Boston’s Dennis Wideman.
… The Bruins avoided a sweep in the season series, having lost
the first three.