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At the Rink blog

Capitals look to replicate earlier win against Bruins

Saturday, 03.29.2014 / 11:10 AM

By Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Capitals look to replicate earlier win against Bruins

WASHINGTON -- The Boston Bruins' record since returning from the 2014 Sochi Olympics is nearly spotless.

In winning 13 of 16, the Bruins have propelled themselves to the top of the Eastern Conference standings with the Stanley Cup Playoffs fast approaching.

Boston has suffered one regulation loss in the past month: a 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals, who have little choice but to replicate their March 1 performance Saturday as they attempt to qualify for the postseason.

"They're going on all cylinders, they're a good hockey team. Very good hockey team," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "We know they're a good hockey team and if you're not ready to play them they can embarrass you. I'm hoping we have the effort we had in there [March 1] and we can play solid and not give them much."

In that game earlier this month, the Capitals used their top-ranked power play to jump out to a 3-0 lead before surviving the Bruins' late-game pushback.

Five days later, Washington visited Boston yet again. In the rematch, the Capitals struggled through one of their most listless performances of the season. Washington spent the game chasing the puck in a penalty-free game and registered a season-low 16 shots in the 3-0 loss.

"They play different hockey than most of the teams," right wing Alex Ovechkin said. "They play more defensive style of hockey, good goalie, good defensive guys and sometimes it's just hard to play against that kind of team."

With at least one point against the Bruins, the Capitals would temporarily hold a playoff spot for the first time since Jan. 18. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings, two of three teams tied with the Capitals at 80 points, play Saturday evening.

Boston will clinch the Atlantic Division with at least one point or a Buffalo Sabres victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning in any fashion.

If the Capitals do qualify for the playoffs, they could face the Bruins in the first round, which adds a bit more intrigue to the Saturday matinee.

"It's going to be like a playoff match because if we are going to be in [the playoffs] we are going to play against Boston," Ovechkin said. "It's a huge challenge for the team and it's always nice to play against a good team who knows how to win and you get that momentum on your side if you win."

Here are the projected lineups for the Bruins and Capitals:

BRUINS

Milan LucicDavid KrejciJarome Iginla

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronReilly Smith

Chris KellyCarl SoderbergLoui Eriksson

Daniel PailleGregory CampbellShawn Thornton

Zdeno CharaJohnny Boychuk

Matt BartkowskiKevan Miller

Torey KrugDougie Hamilton

Chad Johnson

Tuukka Rask

Scratched: Jordan Caron, Andrej Meszaros, Corey Potter

Injured: Adam McQuaid (quad), Dennis Seidenberg (knee)

CAPITALS

Evgeny KuznetsovNicklas BackstromTroy Brouwer

Marcus JohanssonJay BeagleAlex Ovechkin

Jason ChimeraEric FehrJoel Ward

Dustin PennerChris BrownTom Wilson

Karl AlznerJohn Carlson

John ErskineMike Green

Dmitry OrlovPatrick Wey

Braden Holtby

Jaroslav Halak

Scratched: Connor Carrick

Injured: Brooks Laich (groin), Mikhail Grabovski (ankle), Aaron Volpatti (shoulder), Jack Hillen (upper body)

Quote of the Day

One player does not make your team. One player can help your team, but one player does not make your team. We're not a bare-bones organization.

— Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson
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