Bruins go for sweep of Caps in home opener
Thursday, 10.21.2010 / 7:00 PM
Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior WriterCAPITALS (4-2-0) at BRUINS (3-1-0)
TV: NHLN-US (HD), CSN-DC (HD), NESN (HD)
Boston got goals from Matt Hunwick, David Krejci
and Milan Lucic
along with 35 saves from Tim Thomas
to beat the Capitals, 3-1, at Verizon Center on Tuesday. Alex Ovechkin
was held without a point and was on the ice for Boston's first two goals.
Big Story --
It's the Bruins' home opener and the second of a home-and-home against the Capitals. Thomas was stellar in the nets again Tuesday, giving him 95 saves against 97 shots during his current three-game winning streak. However, he may be watching from the bench Thursday so Tuukka Rask
, who hasn't played since the season-opening loss in Prague, can get back in.
Washington is dealing with some health issues. Matt Bradley has missed the last three games, Mike Green
has sat out the last two and Boyd Gordon was out against the Bruins on Tuesday. Green practiced Wednesday but will not play Thursday. Bradley skated on his own prior to the team's workout in Arlington, Va., and Gordon didn't practice at all despite being called a healthy scratch by coach Bruce Boudreau prior to Tuesday's game. Michal Neuvirth
, who had to leave Tuesday's game with the flu, did practice Wednesday but was still feeling ill.
It's early, but the signs couldn't be any better for the Bruins, who have avoided the post-playoff-flop hangover. After finishing dead last in the NHL in scoring last season (2.39 goals per game), the Bruins have scored 10 goals over their last three games while allowing only two. This is more reminiscent of how they were two seasons ago when they finished No. 1 in the Eastern Conference standings by a landslide and Thomas won the Vezina Trophy.
"We like a little bit more structure in our whole game and we like to keep it a little tighter, but that doesn't mean we can't get any offense going," Julien said. "As you can see we've scored a lot more so far this year and our guys are feeling pretty good about the opportunities we're getting in the games. We like the balance that we have."
Who's Hot --
Lucic recorded his second career Gordie Howe hat trick Tuesday night and has goals in each of the last three games. Krejci scored his first goal of the season and recorded his fifth assist in the 3-1 win at Verizon Center. Thomas has a .979 save percentage and 0.67 goals-against average. For the Caps, rookie Marcus Johansson
scored his first NHL goal for his first NHL point Tuesday night.
Injury Report --
We've already outlined the Capitals injuries above. For the Bruins, Marc Savard
(post-concussion syndrome) and Marco Sturm (knee) remain out indefinitely. Zdeno Chara
didn't practice Wednesday, but he's expected to be fine.
Stat Pack --
The Capitals on Tuesday night failed to score more than one goal in a regular season home game for the first time since March 5, 2009. They scored at least two goals in every home game they played last season until Games 5 and 7 against Montreal. They scored two or more goals in 79 of 82 games last season.
Puck Drop --
Boudreau was asked Wednesday if he likes the idea of immediately getting a shot to exact some revenge on the team that just beat his.
"I'm not sure revenge is the right word, but anybody who is competitive wants to get a chance at them right away, so I guess we do," he said. "But I'm sure they're feeling that if they win the first game of the doubleheader you have the opportunity to sweep, so you're going for the jugular."