Alexander Semin’s 80-foot slap shot in overtime found the net as his Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins by a score of 4 to 3. With this win, the Capitals improved to 40-18-5 while the Bruins fell to 42-12-9. In four Capitals/Bruins matchups this year, the Capitals have ended up on top three times.
The 17,565 at TD Banknorth Garden witnessed each team score a goal in each period of regulation. In the first period, Nicklas Backstrom scored for Washington while Matt Hunwick scored for Boston. In the second, Alexander Ovechkin netted his 45th goal of the year while Phil Kessel answered back with an equalizer. In the third period, Tomas Fleischmann gave the Capitals a 3-2 lead with a power play goal. However, Zdeno Chara scored a power play goal of his own with less than five minutes left in regulation; the goal was Chara’s 100th in his career.
Nevertheless, Alexander Semin proved to be the hero as he cut the Boston lead in the Eastern Conference standings to just eight points.
Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said, “I don’t think it gives us any advantage, but it does give us the thought that over four games so far we’ve been able to compete with maybe the best team in the league. If it gets down to it in the [conference] finals … then it would probably be a good series.”
Boston goalie Tim Thomas, who allowed the last goal of the game to Semin, said, “It’s very frustrating. I feel bad for the team that that’s the way it had to end. He who laughs last laughs hardest. We’ll see what happens.” Thomas ended the day making 28 saves on 32 shots.
Alexander Ovechkin said, “We still have 19 games so anything can happen. Every game against them we got at least one point, so it’s good for our mentality that we can beat them, and it doesn’t matter if first or second. I think it’s all about us. If we play our game and our system we can beat everybody.”
Marc Savard was listed as Day-to-Day with a shoulder problem, but finished the game with three assists. Milan Lucic did not play because of an upper-body injury.