Bruins look to beat Caps for first time in 11 meetings
BOSTON — One of these days, the Washington Capitals will lose a hockey game to the Boston Bruins.
It hasn’t happened since March 29, 2014.
The Bruins, who are hot, get their chance to end a 10-game losing streak (0-8-2) against the Caps on Thursday night at TD Garden.
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It is the second game between the teams this season, and this one comes with the Bruins playing the back end of a back-to-back. Boston rallied late for a 3-2 overtime win in Detroit on Wednesday night.
The Bruins have won three straight overall and nine of their past 11 games. David Pastrnak, who has a nine-game points streak, tied the Wednesday game with 1:26 remaining, and Brad Marchand, who assisted on the tying goal, won it 35 seconds into OT.
“It’s big. Just shows the character that we have in the room, that we’re really learning a lot,” said Marchand, who has a six-game points streak. “We’re starting to come together and different guys are stepping up every night, and to have a good team, you need that.
“We’re going to need it some moving forward, but it’s great to see.”
Said Boston coach Bruce Cassidy, whose team didn’t score until the third period Wednesday: “In the end, we got it going eventually. There’s a lot of pride in that room. We knew we needed to be better. In fairness, Detroit hasn’t won much lately, but their will to block shots and keep the puck out of their nets was tremendous. You’ve got to give them credit. “
And now, Washington.
Braden Holtby has dominated the Bruins in the Washington goal. He comes into the latest meeting 12-2-0 with a 1.81 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage lifetime against Boston. The Bruins have scored just 13 even-strength goals against him in 14 games.
On the flip side, Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is 1-10-5 with a 3.07 goals against average and a .889 save percentage in his career against Washington, but that won’t be a factor Thursday. Rask played Wednesday, winning his fifth straight, and Anton Khudobin gets the call Thursday.
Khudobin, who produced a four-game winning streak last month that had people talking goalie controversy, was chased from his last start, Dec. 4 at Nashville. He is 4-3-1 with a .919 save percentage and a 2.54 goals against average in his career against the Caps.
Washington (19-12-1) will be missing T.J. Oshie for the fifth consecutive game because of a lower-body injury, but that hasn’t hurt the team. The Caps had a four-game winning streak snapped by the New York Islanders on Monday night in Brooklyn but then rebounded with their fifth win in six games, a 5-2 victory over the visiting Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.
“I think you have a pretty prideful group that wants to respond,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said after the Tuesday win. “We didn’t have maybe our best game (Monday) night, and these guys handed us our lunch last time (in Denver). I think they wanted to have a good response. I think we had a good plan going in, and I thought it was a real good team win.”
Boston’s win over the Red Wings marked the first time the Bruins prevailed this season when trailing after two periods. The Bruins, who were missing defenseman Kevan Miller on Wednesday because of the birth of a child, are now 1-8-1 when behind after two.