The Capitals seemed to have done their homework a little better than the Bruins last night. After dropping the first two games of the season series to the Bruins, the Caps took the third game, the second at the Verizon Center, 5-3. The Capitals stifled the Bruins high scoring offense for the most part, allowing all three goals in the third period. The Bruins had only 9 shots through 2 periods and allowed 25 to get through to Tim Thomas, who let 3 past him all in the second.
[caption id="attachment_158" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Alex Semin had a shorthanded goal to help lift the Caps over the Bruins"][/caption]
Tyler Sloan got the scoring going just 59 seconds into the second after Tomas Fleischmann won a face off back to the point. Sloan let a one timer go that found it's way through traffic and by Thomas. Mike Green scored his third of the season after he danced around sliding Gregory Campbell and let a wrist shot go that beat Thomas's glove to give the Caps a 2-0 lead 7:35 into the second. Alexander Semin got the third goal for the Caps on a shorthanded 3-on-1. Semin dropped the puck back to Green who faked a pass to his right and slid it to Semin on his left whose shot beat Thomas to the post and gave the Caps what seemed to be an insurmountable lead with 2:10 left in the second. The Caps had dominated the game to this point and Tim Thomas was replaced by Tuukka Rask for the third period.
Rask looked good in the early goings of the third period, stopping the Caps efforts until Michael Ryder finally put a rebound past rookie phenom Michael Neuvirth with 16:53 remaining in the third. Shortly after, at the 4:02 mark, Nathan Horton ripped a slapshot past Neuvirth to cut the lead to one. Both of the Bruins first two goals were on the powerplay. Shawn Thornton tied the game up at the 9:51 mark when he took a feed from Brad Marchand and broke in 2-on-1 and beat Neuvirth with a backhander over the pads. Neuvirth was taken out of the game at this point in favor of another rookie, Braden Holtby. I'm not sure why Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau made this move, maybe to spark his team, maybe to even out the game as the Bruins had replaced their starting goalie as well. Whatever the case, the Caps responded about 4 minutes later when John Carlson ripped a slapshot past Rask on a questionable face-off drop by the linesman. The Bruins center was kicked out of the face-off (a rule I hate) and before he could set up on the wing, and really before the new Bruins center could set up for the face-off, the linesman dropped the puck, allowing Nicklas Backstrom to cleanly win it back. Carlson made no mistake in firing the puck to give the Caps the eventual game winner. Alex Ovechkin added an empty net in the last minute to seal the 5-3 victory. Holtby stopped all the shots he faced in the third.
Overall it was a great hockey game with the Washington Capitals prevailing, moving them into first place in the Eastern Conference heading into today's action. The Bruins are right back at it again tonight as the St. Louis Blues are in town, another tough test for the Bruins. The Caps are back at it again on Sunday when they face off against the Flyers, another top team in the Eastern Conference. Remember to check back later when we highlight the game of the night from the 12 games that are being played tonight.