The Capitals established a 2-0 lead midway through the third period, but with just over four minutes left the Bruins sparked to life and tied the game with goals from David Krejci
and Andrew Ference
But the Bruins (45-28-4) couldn’t finish the comeback and lost the game 3-2 in a shootout, as they missed out an opportunity to clinch a playoff spot with a victory.
“I think we’re trying to find the momentum a bit in the first two – like I said you have to give credit where credit is due,” Ference said. “They’re fighting for their playoffs and play a really strong defensive game.
“Their firepower gets a lot of credit and they play a good systems game, and held us out a lot to the outside and frustrated us a bit with trying to get chances. So it was no lack of urgency or anything like that, it was a bit of a chess match in the first couple of periods.”
With the win, the Capitals (39-31-8) now have 86 points, which is tied with Buffalo, but the Sabres hold the tiebreaker and still remain in eighth place in the Eastern conference.
The teams combined for just 24 shots throughout the first 40 minutes of the game, and the Bruins missed out on a key opportunity early in the game.
With six minutes left in the first period, Washington forward Jason Chimera hit Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid
along the end boards and received a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct, and McQuaid never returned to the game.
On the power play, however, the Bruins mustered just four shots.
“Obviously, you want to capitalize on the PP [power play] and you usually get a pretty quick update on how he’s doing,” Ference said. “And you know, I think we generated some chances, but like I said they did a good job of holding the fort.
“But honestly, I think [our] guys regrouped alright. After seeing a tough play and a guy go down, [you] usually try to block it out.”
The regrouping didn’t really come through for the Black & Gold until late in the third period when Krejci tipped in a shot from Chara, and then Ference scored the tying goal with a screen from No. 46.
“It was good to comeback for sure, it was somewhat of a playoff type game,” Ference said. “As far as trying to generate stuff, they were obviously desperate to get points and it showed. They did an extremely good job of getting in our lanes, they must’ve had a ton of blocked shots tonight.
"Especially from the point it was hard to find anything to shoot thorough. It was a tough game, and tough to give up goals like that but big points so kind of a seesaw game.”