Photo credit: Stephanie Hakim

We almost feel like we’re watching some kind of bizarre social experiment in this series, as we observe Bruins forward Milan Lucic‘s temper simmer, simmer, and boil over more and more frequently as his line continues to be rather ineffective versus the Caps. These bursts of temper saw Lucic collecting 8 PIMs by the end of the night, though– puzzlingly- the refs seemed to think that it was always necessary to tack a Washington penalty on top, perhaps so Lucic wouldn’t get so lonely in the box. The refs have seen this behavior — he’s acting out for attention– and should know better.

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Bruins beat Caps 4-3, Big Letdown on Home Ice

Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

Game Three: The Washington Capitals treated the Boston Bruins to a quiet night of conversation and sport. And then all these damn rowdy Caps fans showed up and spoiled what could have been a pleasant night. It was ugly, it was loose, it was the opposite of those first two games, and it ended tragically.

With Brooks Laich screening up front, Alex Semin converted a first period penalty play while Chara was in the box. Rich Peverly tied it up, but who cares because Alex Ovechkin scored 13 seconds later. Daniel Paille was left all alone in front of Holtby, tying the game at two. Brian Rolston exploited some bad Caps D early in the third and gave the Bruins their first lead of the night. Nick Backstom set Brooks Laich loose for a breakaway to beat Tim Thomas and tie it with six minutes left.

On a late-game 4-on-4, Zdeno Chara’s slapshot caught a little bit of Hamrlik and got past Holtby. Bruins beat Caps 4-3.

UPDATE 10:45 pm: Nick Backstrom’s high hit after the final buzzer earned him a match penalty. He is automatically suspended from Game Four, but that may be waived later tomorrow.

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Timmy and the Obama signs on NBCSN. (Photo credit: @levnaginsky)

On Sunday we posted some highly scientific analysis about the Tim Thomas – Barack Obama connection, as well as two printable posters and an Obama mask that could be cut out and worn all over your pretty face. The response was enthusiastic and varied. It is truly an honor to appear on Bruins blogs and Glenn Beck’s site in the same day.

We were flanked in our effort to psyche out Timmy by our friends at Sick Unbelievable, Brooks Laichyear, and Homer McFanboy. Whatever you make of the political dimension of the campaign or its impact on the game, at least we got to see how tight this Caps fan community is. It’s large-scale silliness and public mayhem for a good cause.

We’ve got all kinds of meta-coverage below the jump, so please follow along.

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After the first two games of the quarterfinal round, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is sporting a .964 save percentage, having stopped 54 of the 56 shots he has faced. Last season’s Vezina and Conn Smythe winner, Thomas has already had a successful follow-up campaign, earning a 35-19-1 record during the regular season. He is the calm core of Boston’s defense and a reliable presence to backstop the league’s third best offense.

But Thomas’s composure came somewhat unspooled on Saturday night. After a whistle, he punched the previously concussed Nick Backstrom, who ended up scoring the game-winner in double overtime. While Thomas escaped without the match penalty recommended in rule 51.3 for goalies who use a blocker pad to punch a skater, he has not escaped the attention and ire of the Washington Capitals and their fans.

Games Three and Four of the series will be played in DC, and we just figured out precisely how we will troll.

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Boston and the Bruins: Wicked Awful

This is what Swedish revenge looks like. (Photo credit: Mark Baer, US Presswire)

The playoff series gives Caps fans a chance to learn all about our rivals and the exotic places they come from. For the first of their Stanley Cup travelogue series, the PuckBuddys offer “How To Spot A Bruins Fan” and helpfully explain why living in Boston is worse than gargling with cat litter.  

The Geography of Bad: Let’s just put a few things on the table. Some cities are horrible because of where they are. Tampa comes to mind. Not quite poor enough to be swamp trash, not quite rich enough to be coastal, it’s the worst of Florida compressed into one atomically fetid spot. Or take Winnipeg. God help anyone who has to go to Winnipeg.

Other places aren’t so much insufferable because of where they are, but because of who lives there. Philadelphia, for example, where entire generations have refined the art of being over-privileged and grating. Dallas, which is just about all we need to say about that hole. Or pretty much the entire state of Arizona.

That said, there’s a whole special category of wretched for cities that, were the Lord truly merciful, He would just dump into the ocean and pretend it never happened. Can you guess which blighted dung pile is featured in this week’s list of awful?

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In the second period of Game 1, Braden Holtby was whistled for roughing when he shoved Bruins’ forward Chris Kelly out of his crease. It seemed like a pretty tame play for the postseason, but the men in stripes intervened nonetheless.

Well, in the Caps’ Game 2 win against the Bruins, Tim Thomas decided to go medieval on several Capitals. Let’s review, shall we?

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Photo credit: Charles Krupa

After Thursday’s disappointing overtime loss to the Boston Bruins, Dale Hunter’s Washington Capitals redoubled their efforts. The result: another excruciatingly tight hockey game at TD Garden, but with a heluva lot more offense.

Troy Brouwer crashed the net to score to the game’s first goal after 38 scoreless minutes. Halfway through the third, Benoit Pouliot tied the game with a backhand off a loose puck in the slot.

And the overtime. Nothing. OT2 ended in a blink… as Nick Backstrom beat Thomas over the shoulder. Caps beat Bruins 2-1 (OT).

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Photo credit: Elsa

A few days ago in a post entitled “How to Solve Tim Thomas in the Playoffs,” I pointed out that the Capitals have had a tough time scoring on Tim Thomas in the regular season. When they did score in regulation, there was an obvious pattern:

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The Big Show: Bruins beat Caps 1-0 (OT)

Photo credit: Brian Babineau

Here we go. The big show. The postseason. First of many between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals– a tight, violent, and excruciating bout of playoff hockey. There is nothing sweeter.

The Caps endured three punishing  but scoreless periods before someone named Chris Kelly scored the OT winner. Bruins beat Caps 1-0.

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Photo: Alex Semin vs the World

Photo credit: Chris Gordon

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