Bruins Blow Lead, Fall to Caps in OT
Washington Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer (20) skates with the puck against Boston Bruins center Tyler Seguin (19) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, April 27, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Washington — Eric Fehr scored on a power play 3:23 into overtime, and the Washington Capitals, with nothing at stake last night, came back for a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins, who are trying to win the Northeast Division.
Boston entered the day tied with the Montreal Canadiens, who beat Toronto 4-1 to grab the division lead. The Bruins need to beat Ottawa tonight to take the title.
The NHL regular season originally was supposed to end yesterday, but the game between Bruins and Senators was rescheduled because of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Milan Lucic and Andrew Ference to put Boston ahead 2-0 before Washington captain Alex Ovechkin assisted on Mike Green’s two power-play scores within less than two minutes in the third period.
Ovechkin didn’t get a goal himself, leaving his league-leading total at 32.
It was Green who took a shot in overtime that was blocked by Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, and Fehr was in the right spot to poke in the rebound. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was in the penalty box after a hooking call.
The Bruins already had clinched a playoff spot and will be the No. 2 seed if they win the division or No. 4 if not.
Washington will face the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. The Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 4-0 earlier in the day to avoid the eighth spot in the East.
The Capitals have been locked into the No. 3 seed as Southeast Division champion since Tuesday. So the results did not really matter when they played Thursday and last night.
Last night was a rematch of a tight and testy first-round playoff series won by Washington in seven games last season, and things got scrappy this time, too. In the closing minutes, Chara slammed Washington center Nicklas Backstrom into the boards in a corner, dislodging a piece of glass. Seconds later, Ovechkin and Boston’s Brad Marchand exchanged some words and shoves and both got roughing penalties.
Boston went ahead 1-0 about 10 minutes into the game, when David Krejci won a faceoff and sent the puck back to Lucic, whose shot deflected off Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner’s right skate and sailed past goalie Braden Holtby.
Ference doubled Boston’s lead 7:49 into the second period with a wrister from near the right circle while Lucic screened Holtby. That inspired a chorus of “Let’s go, Bruins!” chants from some Boston fans in the stands, which were dotted with black-and-yellow jerseys of the visiting team.
About 30 seconds later, Rask blocked a close-range shot by Troy Brouwer, and Martin Erat’s attempt to knock in the rebound flew wide of the net.
Rask lost his shutout bid 5½ minutes into the third period — and 15 seconds into a power play — when Green wristed in a shot from inside the blue line. That was part of a stretch in which Boston was whistled for three penalties, two on Adam McQuaid, in a span of about three minutes.
After the second, Green converted from nearly the same spot as his earlier goal, 115 seconds later.
Notes: Ex-Capitals forward Jaromir Jagr was scratched because of what the Bruins said were flulike symptoms.
Maple Leafs 1
Toronto — Lars Eller had a goal and two assists and Montreal sent Toronto a pre-playoff message, defeating the sluggish Maple Leafs.
The Canadiens did it without No. 1 goalie Carey Price, who was given the night off in favor of Peter Budaj. Rubbing salt into the wound, Montreal chased Toronto starter James Reimer early in the third period.
Toronto and Montreal could meet in the playoffs depending on the outcome of Sunday’s game between Boston and Ottawa.
Andrei Markov, Brendan Gallagher and Thomas Plekanec also scored for Montreal.
Phil Kessel scored his 20th goal of the season for Toronto, notching his 10th goal in as many games.
Rangers 4, Devils 0
New York — Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves in coasting to his second shutout of the season, and Rick Nash scored twice for playoff-bound New York in a victory over New Jersey in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Red Wings 3, Stars 0
Dallas — The Red Wings are headed to the playoffs for the 22nd straight season after Henrik Zetterberg had two goals and an assist in a victory over Dallas.
Blue Jackets 3, Predators 1
Columbus, Ohio — Jack Johnson scored the go-ahead goal with 4:48 left and Columbus capped a remarkable turnaround with a victory over Nashville.
Coming into the night, the Blue Jackets were tied for eighth in the West with Minnesota, each with 53 points. The Wild, coming off a 6-1 loss at home to Edmonton on Friday, were in action at Colorado.
Panthers 5, Lightning 3
Tampa, Fla. — NHL points leader Martin St. Louis had a goal and an assist in the Lightning’s loss to Florida in the season finale for two non-playoff teams.