Holtby Superior! Caps beat Bruins 2-1

Photo credit: Mitchell Layton

After two noisy days without a game, the Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins finally got into it again. After the feisty mess that was Game Three, the Capitals had something prove for the hometown crowd– and they had to do it without Nick Backstrom.

Brooks Laich set up Marcus Johansson for an odd-man rush to score in the first ninety seconds of the game. With Dennis Wideman overcommitted on offense, Rich Peverley had an easy time tying it up with an odd-man rush. Alex Semin beat Thomas with a surgical strike on a power play late in the second to give the Caps the lead. Caps beat Bruins 2-1.

  • Discipline. The Capitals were buttoned up tight in Game Four. The after-whistle garbage was gone completely, and aside from a few errant sticks, the Caps played a conservative game. Aside from Mike Knuble’s holding penalty in the third, it was clean.
  • And oh yeah: the Caps penalty kill is perfect. Still. 12-for-12. It’s team effort back there, enabled by a kinda crummy man-advantage effort from the visitors.
  • Welcome back to pro hockey, John Erskine! Big John took a smart dive to close off Peverley’s passing lane before the game’s first goal and gave Shawn Thornton a smiling and violent welcome in front of  Holtby’s net early on. Erskine was clearing guys out of the slot with gumption all night long. 11:02 TOI.
  • The Capitals’ possession in the first period was a travesty. After scoring on their first shot early in the period, Washington went without another shot on goal for another ten minutes. By the end of the first frame, Boston had fired 14 shots at Braden Holtby compared to the Caps’ three. It’s very fortunate that the Caps finished the period with the score tied. It’s very funny that Thomas finished that same period with a .667 save percentage.
  • The Caps ended up with a minus-35 Fenwick score. That’s their worst possession game of the year. By far.
  • Dennis Wideman, man. Every team has its own fail whale in the playoffs, and Wides is ours. He was way too low on the broken play that led to Peverley’s goal, leaving John Erskine all along to shut down three dudes (which Ersk nearly did). There hasn’t been a Bruins goal during 5-on-5 in this series for which Wideman hasn’t had a great view.
  • Wides caught Greg Campbell’s puck with his face with five minutes left in the third. After a quick scare, he skated off the ice– seemingly unscathed, and played the rest of the game. Everyone should wear a visor.
  • Mike Green‘s visor recklessly and deliberately attempted to injure Benoit Pouliot‘s stick in the first period . Luckily, Green’s visor escaped discipline. This time…
  • All respect possible to Marcus Johansson, who broke up one of those retaliatory odd-man rushes that the Caps are so good at allowing. Hauling his Swedish ass back from the o-zone to cover for Erskine, Johansson dove stick-first in front of the puck to shut down what would have been an easy go-ahead goal for the Bruins.
  • Brooks Laich has four points in four games this postseason. He was a playmaking force tonight, setting up Jojo for the opening goal, teeing up a monster slap from Alex Semin, and ringing crossbars. When someone asks you tomorrow how the team stepped up without Nick Backstrom, draw a picture of Brooks Laich. Use various shades of cerulean and perriwinkle for the eyes.

Joe B suit of the night

Series record: Bruins 2, Capitals 2

Let’s see. We talked offense, defense, special teams. Did we miss anything?

Oh yeah!

BRADEN freakin’ HOLTBY. The sweet summer child from Saskatchewan gave us another sterling effort between the pipes. When the Capitals skaters iced the puck play after play, Holtby bailed ‘em out. When the Caps had only a handful of shots on goal halfway through the game, Holtby kept ‘em alive.

And when Tim Thomas spazzed out, Holtby remained serene. He shut down odd-man rushes, he cleared Bs out of his paint. He tracked pucks like a level-12 Eladrin ranger with training in pathfinding.

44 saves.

There is no such thing as a rookie goalie in Washington, D.C. this spring. Holtby is an old soul. He’s playing like a hall of famer.

GIF via TravisSBN

Despite being outshot by a Canadian mile, the Capitals pulled out the win. How did they do it? Thick and proud, baby. Thick and proud.

The series is tied. The Capitals are headed to Boston. Saturday afternoon. It’s gonna be a brawl.

Crash the net.

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

  • Dmitry

    Held by Holtby!

  • Orlov

    Awesome GIF

  • Daviddiffee

    Man you guys get these things out quick.

  • Vtandrew

    Great game boys – keep it up!

  • pattyo

    Keith Aucoin!!!!

  • 3jmntmutant

    That Semin shot was just ridiculous.

  • Andy Wallace

    Lmao Mike Greens visor is a reckless player

  • pattyo

    Also, did anybody notice how the clock didn’t start for a couple seconds at the very end? I swear this has been the WORST officiated playoffs in history. 

  • Semin

    To do list:

    Win it for Nicky (check)

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  • Guestzs

    Give Brooksie that C on the jersey!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1262029985 Alison Latimer

    Fans can be proud of this game….this team….

  • Breed16

    AHL Goalie shuts down Cup Champs!

  • John W.

    wait what? i must have missed something…

  • meowmix

    What happened with the clock situation at the end? People were saying that that was normal and appropriate. I just don’t see how the clock stopped while play continues is normal. Any info?

  • MayHuntOviBack67

    That GIF is a keeper!

    get it? No it really is.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    bwahahahhaha

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Just learned: it was too loud for ref and timekeeper to get organized. 

  • breaklance

    Hows about that for discipline Julien? Oh whats that? Totally can’t hear your snotty comments over our 2 ppgs to your 0.

  • breaklance

    Sure possession is a nightmare at times but this team has definitively learned one thing under Hunter: defense. Sure the B’s are getting a lot of shots but they’re mostly outside shots with clear sight lights to the net thanks to keeping the net clean. When the shots aren’t from the periphery there’s someone to block it. The bruins are known for being a really competent defensive team but its overlooked how they had the 2nd best offense in the league and 5 or 6 20-goal scorers spread out through 3 lines. They don’t have an offensive super weapon, like say Crosby Stamkos Datsyuk Ovechkin can be, but pull weigh as an entire team and the Caps are cohesively shutting down the Bruins offense by stifling their entire team. That’s definitely every guy buying in. 

  • Braden Holtby

    How about those Held by Holtby shirts? Can I get a cut?

  • http://twitter.com/krazylykeafox Katie Moncure

    I feel like that means we’re doing something right. 

  • Cpt Giggles

    It’s because they have no life, and I personally thank them for this.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Sigh. So true. I need a girlfriend.

  • Crosby Smiter

    The clock felt like it didnt start for a good 5 seconds while in the arena, and i asked craig laughlin about it and he didnt know what would have happened if the bruins scored during that.  Also can hunter scratch wideman? I know 99.8% of caps fans hate schultzy but its clear after tonight that hes not the reason for being on the ice for 4 of the goals in the series.  id say all but 1 of the now 5 goals wideman has been on the ice for has been his fault and only his fault due to his decision making or lack thereof, hes had an up and down season but since the all star break has been down all the time.  And im glad knuble was freed, even with that penalty that man is a beast, although his goal scoring is gilded.  

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  • Daviddiffee

    If having a girlfriend keeps you from getting these just so appropriately biased recaps out so quick then please stay single, for our sake.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AD53U5OE5LM6MQ4OMD7QL6QGYA Philip

    Win it WITH Nicky x2  _____

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AD53U5OE5LM6MQ4OMD7QL6QGYA Philip

    No you dont, think of all of us that need these updates….

    Way to be selfish Peter….Jeez.

  • Rhino40

     it was “Feeeeeeeeeeellllthie!!!!

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    What is this “filthy” thing? I feel so left out.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    it’s true

  • serpent

    Or find a girl who can write like Ana and photoshop like Ian

  • serpent

    Ditto–?

  • serpent

    Oh, crap! The Bears play tonight, don’t they? Who’s in goal?

  • serpent

    Holts and the old two-way wrist radio! Ok, I guess Dick Tracy is going back a little too far for you kids.

  • Guestz

    hahaha. bazinga!

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I’m about to add “bazinga” to the banned words list.