Iginla30Goals

Photo: Rob Carr

For 10 years, Jarome Iginla was the captain of the Calgary Flames. He was the franchise, in the same way Alex Ovechkin is now synonymous with the Washington Capitals. But in Iginla’s last few years with the team, the Flames got bad. Wanting to win a Cup before his career was over, Iginla engineered a trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins last year, spurring the Boston Bruins at the last second. The closest Iginla had ever come was a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2004.

Ironically, the Bruins headed to the Final against the Blackhawks last season, with another year ticking off on Iginla’s career. He signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Bruins this offseason. At 36, Iginla is on the top team in the east. The Bruins clinched the Atlantic Division by beating Washington on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s been a fun year,” Iginla told reporters after the game. “It’s been fun to win games and battling at the top of the league, to be on some streaks as a group and see them go in too. It’s been fun.”

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Evgeny Kuznetsov Scores Unlikely Goal in Final Minute

kuzya-shot

The Capitals sort of played a stinker against the Boston Bruins. There was precious little to enjoy about the game: a couple flashy saves by Braden Holtby, Jason Chimera crashing the net, maybe Ian rocking the spandex with the Brouwer Rangers. Thanks to the game’s final minute, we can add one more to that list: Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s stinger of a goal.

Seemingly defeated by Carl Soderberg’s insurance goal with seven minutes left, the Caps struggled to put together any kind of offensive push in the closing minutes of rego. Troy Brouwer made one such push, but the Bruins D tied him up. That play looked like it would fizzle like so many others against Boston.

Enter the New Guy.

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Bruins beat Thrashers 4-2

Patrick Smith

What is the Bruins guy doing here? (Photo: Patrick Smith)

The Washington Capitals were poised to seize a wild card slot with a win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon. That’s exactly what would have happened except for the small matter of Boston absolutely dominating the game.

This is going to be one of those recaps.

AARP member Jarome Iginla scored his first of two goals in the second period, exploiting a breakout by the Capitals. Carl Soderberg got a powerplay marker from the not-perimeter while Eric Fehr was in the box. Iginla scored again a few minutes later, but Jason Chimera ended the shutout with a crash-the-net tap-in late in the second period.

The Bruins made it 4-1 on a soft charging call against Alex Ovechkin. Soderberg kinda interfered with Holtby as Bergeron swept the goal home, but no matter: the game was already over at that point. Evgeny Kuznetsov got a fancy no-angle goal in garbage time.

Bruins beat Caps 4-2.

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Bruins beat Capszzz

Bruins beat Caps 3-0.

I don’t really have anything to say. The Caps aren’t good, and their game against the Boston Bruins was awful.

In hindsight, offense might have helped.

But Laich is hurt. So is Grabo. Erskine and Volpatti too. Plus Orlov is suspended. That left the Hershey Bears to fill the ranks: Carrick, Stoa, Brown, Schilling. I don’t want to do the math on if losing Ersk was a bad thing. Doesn’t matter. Even if the Caps didn’t suit up a bunch of sub-NHL players, the Caps aren’t a match for the Bruins.

The whole “let ‘em shoot, but keep those shots on the outside” plan failed again. Gregory Campbell got a deflection up front during a delayed penalty, and then Loui Eriksson scored on a turnover from like 0.00214 feet out. Those two goals did nothing to shake the Caps from their torpor. Brad Marchand got the empty netter.

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Ovi and the Great Eight Hundred: Caps beat Bruins 4-2

Michael Dwyer

No idea what is happening here. (Photo: Michael Dwyer)

March and its steady trickle of tough games began on Saturday with a matinee match-up against the Boston Bruins. Alex Ovechkin, perhaps still seething over his loss at the hands of Finnish goaltender Tuukka Rask, was terrific (again), but the Washington Capitals needed more than their captain to win this one.

Ovi scored from the Ovi spot in the first period, then ripped a terrific shot from above the circles in the second. Both goals came on the power play. Joel Ward went Rambo-style, scoring unassisted with a backhand on Rask. Boston struck back with a nifty powerplay goal by Patrice Bergeron and a lucky deflection off Mike Green’s stick. Eric Fehr got his own breakaway and beat Rask to make it 4-2 midway through the third period.

Caps beat Bruins 4-2!

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Sweep

Patrick McDermott

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Woohoo! Final game of the season. A month and a half ago, I thought this would be the last one I’d cover before the summer, but then Ovechkin happened. Now, the Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals game was just a meaningless little preamble to the real dance, which starts next week.

Let’s do a loose recap. Looch got a lucky one off Alzner’s skates, then he screened Holtby on Ference’s goal. Then, Mike Green 2009 warged into Mike Green 2013 and scored back-to-back power play goals. The Caps killed some late-game penalties and forced overtime, where Eric Fehr finished off the regular season with a little goal so greasy you could lubricate your engine with it if that’s a thing you knew how to do.

Caps beat Bruins 3-2 (Overtime).

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bruins-fan-taunts-ribeiro

Har har. Bruins fan taunts Ribs. (Photo credit: Emily C.)

The Washington Capitals and Boston Bruins have developed an intense rivalry since their back-and-forth seven-game series in the first round of the playoffs last year. From the Olympic-quality dives from Brad Marchand to Nicky Backstrom’s cross-check to the face, it’s apparent these teams hate each other.

That’s why on Saturday, as they played each other for the second time in 16 days, all hell broke loose. First, Mike Ribeiro fought Brad Marchand, and Matt Hendricks laid down the law with Nathan Horton. Then, in the third period, as Shawn Thornton tried to get Hendricks to drop the gloves, Hendy bloodied his fists in a fight with Adam McQuaid.

Let’s recap all the crazy.

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The Bold and the Bloody: Bruins beat Caps 4-1

Brian Babineau

Photo credit: Brian Babineau

The Boston Bruins are the best team in the East. I think they’re the East’s best chance at winning the Cup this year, but that doesn’t mean I’m rooting for them or that I didn’t want the Washington Capitals to crush them on Saturday afternoon. That didn’t happen though. The Caps struggled on defense, and their offense needed help to get the puck behind Anton Khudobin. The game got a little wild in the second and third periods, which is just how the Bruins like it.

Bruins beat Caps 4-1.

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charasmash

Doug Johnson is back to amuse and torment. You know him as one-half of the PuckBuddys. The first one to get them to 3K Twitter follows probably wins a car or something.

The Morning Skate: Gentle readers, before we [CENSORED] all over our Bruins friends,  let us pause a moment, as you scramble in blind panic preparing for snow that will never, ever come again, to consider the hazards of making predictions. Especially about the Caps.

For example, if I predict no snow Wednesday, it’s gonna get all crazy 20″ up in here. Conversely, I stone cold guarantee that if I dash to the store today to buy a terror shovel, we will be mopping our brows and sipping Mint Juleps on our verandas by Friday. The point is: predictions can go so wrong. Britain’s Lord Kelvin (he of Downton Abbey, we guess?) said heavier-than-air machines could never fly. Harry Warner said no-one would pay for talkies. The Skipper predicted a three-hour tour. Boom.

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