Boston at Washington

Laich scores power-play goal in OT to lift Caps past Bruins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- The Boston Bruins needed to win this game badly.

The Bruins came into Monday's game with the Washington Capitals tied for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, and after a 3-2 overtime loss to Washington, they were able to make the trip worthwhile.

Eastern Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1z-Pittsburgh487233
2y-Montreal486326
3y-Washington485724
4x-Boston486224
5x-Toronto485726
6x-N.Y. Rangers485622
7x-Ottawa485621
8x-N.Y. Islanders485520
Eliminated
9o-Winnipeg485122
10o-Philadelphia484922
11o-New Jersey484817
12o-Buffalo484814
13o-Carolina484218
14o-Tampa Bay484017
15o-Florida483612
Complete Playoff Race

Boston gained a point and moved into seventh place with 85 points. Montreal is sixth with 86 points and Philadelphia is in eighth place with 84 points.

The Capitals got the win 44 seconds into overtime on Brooks Laich's power-play goal. Laich's goal came 20 seconds after Boston's Dennis Wideman was called for high-sticking, and the Capitals had the four-on-three advantage.

"It was a high stick, it was up, but it wasn't one of those that hurt the guy," Wideman said. "I was trying to push off a little bit, and I kind of lost my balance, and he was trying to cut back. It was against his face, but it wasn't one he wasn't going to get cut on, but it was high."

The Bruins, who play here again in the regular-season finale on April 11, tried to put a positive spin on the OT loss.

"That was a good point. That was a good effort to get a point, but when you have an effort like that, you always hope to get a deuce out of it," Wideman said.

Laich beat Boston goalie Tuukka Rask, who finished with 27 saves. It was Laich's 25th goal of the season. Alex Ovechkin finished with two assists.

"They don't give us lots of chances to score goals," Ovechkin said.

Ovechkin is tied for second to Sidney Crosby with 46 goals, but he has just four goals in his past 18 games.

The two-time defending NHL MVP was suspended for two games after shoving Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell from behind and sending him into the boards on March 14, and Washington coach Bruce Boudreau noticed that Ovechkin's aggression had returned.

"He wasn't afraid to hit today. He's never afraid, but ever since the suspension, it's been on his mind. He's got to be him," Boudreau said.

"I told him: 'You're not a dirty player, so just play the play you normally play.' "

The Capitals played their first game as winners of the Presidents' Trophy for most points in the league. They clinched home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs on Sunday night when San Jose lost in overtime to Colorado.

Nicklas Backstrom, who also assisted on the other two Washington goals, gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 7:36 of the first period with his 31st goal. Backstrom took a pass from Ovechkin and his slap shot trickled past Rask. The game was delayed for five minutes while the goal was being reviewed.

"I didn't think it was in actually because I couldn't see," Backstrom said. "They called a goal. I guess it was in."

With 1.6 seconds left in the period, the Bruins tied the score at 1 when Wideman's shot from the left point beat a screened Jose Theodore. It was Wideman's fifth goal of the season.

Boston took a 2-1 lead when Patrice Bergeron took a pass from Milan Lucic and deked Theodore out of position and guided the puck into the net. The goal at 7:55 of the second period was Bergeron's 19th of the season.

Theodore stopped 28 shots.

Mike Knuble scored his 27th goal when he took a pass from Ovechkin and in a scramble, tapped it past Rusk at 19:31 to tie the game at 2. This goal was also reviewed, but the call stood.

Notes

  • Washington has won four consecutive games against the Bruins.
  • Boudreau says that he won't announce his starting playoff goalie until just before the Capitals' first game.
  • Boston was without D Dennis Seidenberg. He cut his left wrist in Saturday's game against Toronto. He tried to practice on Monday morning, but was unable to finish.
  • The Bruins were also without LW Shawn Thornton (upper body), D Andrew Ference (hernia) and D Mark Stuart (left pinkie). C Trent Whitfield was a healthy scratch.
  • Boston D Adam McQuaid played for the first time since Feb. 13. He had been out with a concussion.
  • Washington D Mike Green was a healthy scratch.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Brooks Laich (left) celebrates with Nicklas Backstrom after Laich scores the Caps' winning goal in OT.  (AP)
Brooks Laich (left) celebrates with Nicklas Backstrom after Laich scores the Caps' winning goal in OT. (AP)

Scoreboard
Boston (36-30-13)11002
Washington  (52-15-12) «11013
Three Stars
A. Ovechkin
WAS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
J. Theodore
WAS


Saves: 28
Save Pct.: .933
P. Bergeron
BOS


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
07:36Nicklas Backstrom (31), Snap Shot. Assist: Ovechkin, Knuble
19:58Dennis Wideman (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Chara, Bergeron
2ND PERIOD
07:55Patrice Bergeron (19), Wrist Shot. Assist: Lucic, Recchi
19:31Mike Knuble (27), Tip-In. Assist: Ovechkin, Backstrom
3RD PERIOD
None
OT
44.0Power Play - Brooks Laich (24), Wrist Shot. Assist: Semin, Backstrom
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
01:03Morrisonn, 2 min, Holding the Stick
03:16Krejci, 2 min, Cross-Checking
3RD PERIOD
09:57Sloan, 2 min, Tripping
14:59Laich, 2 min, Tripping
OT
24.0Wideman, 2 min, High-Sticking
Shots On Goal
 123T
Boston1261230
Washington7111028
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Tuukka Rask 60:44273
Jose Theodore 60:44282
Game Information
Attendance - 18277
Referees - Steve Kozari, Bill McCreary
Linesmen - Brad Lazarowich, Steve Miller
 
Other Games
Min 1 Final
Edm 4
Colu 1 Final
OT
StL 2