As the NHL’s play-in series start wrapping up, the round-robin tournament for the top four seeds in each conference is also ending. The Bruins and Capitals will play their final round-robin game before the playoffs officially start. The Bruins and Capitals both have lost their first two games in the round-robin series. Both teams were defeated by the Flyers and Lightning in their first two games. The Bruins and Capitals will battle it out for the third seed in the playoffs. The winner of the Bruins and Capitals will face the New York Islanders. The loser will then play the Carolina Hurricanes.
Bruins Year Review
The Bruins were the best team during the NHL’s shortened regular season. Boston won the President’s trophy finishing with a league-best 44-14-12 record, for a total of 100 points.
The Bruins were one of the best offensive teams in the league during the shortened regular season, finishing tied for 7th in the league with 227 goals. To complement Boston’s excellent offense, their defense is even better. The Bruins allowed the lowest number of goals during the shortened regular season. The Bruins only allowed 167 goals over the course of the shortened season.
Boston’s special teams are also top-notch as they convert 25.2% power plays into goals. This is good enough for second in the league. Their penalty kill is nothing to sniff at either, as the Bruins kill off 84.3% of their penalties. They rank third in the league and it will be difficult for the Capitals to breakthrough.
Capitals Year Review
The Capitals were a fantastic team during the regular season. They finished 5th in the league with 90 points in 69 games. They finished with a record of 41-20-8.
The Capitals possess one of the best offenses in the entire league. They scored 236 total goals which tied the Colorado Avalanche for third in the league. Although their offense had an amazing year their defense was not quite as good. The Capitals allowed the 17th most goals in the league, allowing 212 goals.
The Special teams is where the Capitals thrive most. Killing off 82.6% of penalties Washington’s penalty kill ranked 6th in the league Their power play is loaded with talent but the team only converted 19.4% of their power-play chances. A team with players such as Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Tj Oshie, and John Carlson will be able to score with ease on any team.
The Capitals and Bruins have some star-studded forwards that will definitely play a huge factor in who will win this matchup. The Bruins have perhaps the best line in all of hockey. Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak have become a coach’s dream line.
First of all, Marchand is a great two-way player that plays hard on both ends of the rink, and always finds a way to antagonize the other team’s players. Secondly, Patrice Bergeron is fantastic defensively. His efforts are recognized almost every year as Bergeron is consistently nominated for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward. Lastly, David Pastrnak isn’t quite as good defensively but he shines in the offensive zone. Over the past few years, Pastrnak has developed into one of the best pure goal scorers in the league. Pastrnak was tied for the league lead in goals this season with Alex Ovechkin. Patstrnak and Ovechkin were honored for leading the league in goals by both being awarded the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy.
As previously mentioned the Capitals also have their own prolific goal scorer in Alex Ovechkin but they have more star power than just Ovechkin. Nikolas Backstrom is another Capitals legend that has played with Ovechkin almost all of his professional career. Backstrom always sets Ovechkin up for his patented one-timer on the powerplay. John Carlson is the anchor of the Capitals defense and is always one of the best two-way defensemen in the league. Carlson posted 15 goals and 60 assists and played excellent defense for Washington during the shortened season. Due to Carlson’s strong play in the regular season, he got nominated for the James Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman.
Overview of the Game
This game will be an interesting one to watch. The winner earns the third seed and the offensive battle should be very entertaining to watch unfold. Although the Capitals are very skilled offensively their defensive woes are going to hurt them and this is why the Bruins will be able to win the matchup. The Bruins should win this game because they will be able to exploit the weakness the Capitals have on their back end. The final score will be 4-2 and the Bruins will earn a victory and the third seed in the Eastern Conference. After the game is over be sure to check out Frederick Frandsen’s game recap.
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