|Boston Bruins' Tim Thomas (30) makes the save behind Washington Capitals' Marcus Johansson (90), of Sweden, as Bruins' Adam McQuaid, center, looks on in the third period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010, in Boston. Boston won 3-2. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) |
Going into the game, the B’s knew they needed a strong start to keep the struggling Capitals at bay.
“Our first was great,” said Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference
. “It was...just [about] not making mistakes and just following our game plan almost every single shift.
"I don’t know if we had a turnover at the offensive blueline and we were breaking out the puck out well and we were winning our races to the puck.”
Boston is now 15-2 when scoring first.
“It was a challenge there -- who was going to have the better start -- and I thought we did a great job,” said Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien. “Fortunately we came out with two points.”
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron
scored at 3:27 (from Wheeler, McQuaid) to put the Bruins on the board early. But Boston finished the first twenty minutes up 3-0, with additional goals from Ference (Marchand, Krejci) and winger Blake Wheeler (Bergeron, Boychuk).
Ference’s goal at 8:13 in the first marked his first in 99 games.
“This is some of the best I’ve ever felt in my whole career hockey-wise," said Ference. "It’s nice to finally get one in.”
Although Boston came out with a strong first period, Washington battled back in the ensuing 40 minutes.
The Caps applied significant offensive pressure and got within one goal with 5:28 left to go in the final period.
“They were on the four-man attack a lot and they were just getting pucks deep and they were coming hard and they were pressuring all over the ice,” said Bruins blueliner Adam McQuaid
, who earned a fighting major with his bout with Washington's Matt Bradley at 8:17 of the first.
“They have a lot of offensive firepower, so I guess we did kind of weather the storm there at the end,"
“We came out in the third and we did exactly what we weren’t supposed to do," explained Julien. "We were supposed to keep taking the game to them and we just didn’t do it.
"Sometimes it’s a bad start and a good second and third.
"Tonight it was a bad third and a good first and second. So we got to put three solid periods together here sooner than later,” he said.
In the end, the B’s held on to the victory thanks to another stellar performance from netminder Tim Thomas
“He was great," said Bergeron. "He’s been great all year and tonight, again, he was huge.”---Hannah Becker