Bruins stave off Capitals rally
Andrew Ference scored his first goal in 100 games to help the Boston Bruins beat Washington 3-2 on Saturday night and send the Capitals to their eighth straight loss.
The Bruins led 3-0 after one period and held on as the Capitals cut the deficit to one goal, outshooting Boston 26-2 in the third period. Tim Thomas made 39 saves in all, including a stop on Alex Ovechkin with 11 seconds left while Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth was off for an extra skater.
Neuvirth made 18 saves, but he spotted the Bruins an early lead and forced Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau to use his timeout in the first period.
Patrice Bergeron and Blake Wheeler each had a goal and an assist for Boston.
Matt Bradley and Karl Alzner scored for Washington, which has scored just 11 goals in eight games (0-6-2) since Dec. 1.
The Bruins had lost three in a row - all one-goal games - for their longest losing streak of the season. But they scored before Washington got its first shot off, taking a 1-0 lead 3:27 into the game when Wheeler went toward the net and took the defenders with him, then spun backward and dished it back to Bergeron.
Ference made it 2-0 with 11:47 left in the first with a slap shot from the left point that was partially screened. It was his first goal since Feb. 22, 2009, and Boudreau decided his team needed a break before the game got out of reach.
But Boston made it 3-0 when Bergeron then backhanded the puck to Wheeler in the circle for a goal that made it 3-0 with 2:57 left in the first.
The Capitals managed five shots in the period, then peppered Thomas with 10 in the second. But they erupted in the third, outshooting the Bruins 19-1 by the time Alzner's shot went through traffic and past Thomas to cut the deficit to one goal with 5:28 to play.