Washington reached the end of its 2016-17 road schedule on Saturday afternoon in Boston, dropping the Bruins by a 3-1 count. The Caps took an early 1-0 lead, then quickly scored twice late in the second period, doing so within a minute of the Bruins' lone goal that temporarily tied the game at 1-1.
With a win over the Capitals, the Bruins would have ensured they would not have to face Washington in the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs. Saturday's loss keeps that possibility alive; if the Toronto Maple Leafs pick up a point or points in their Sunday home game against Columbus, the Caps will face Boston in the first round. If the Leafs lose to the Blue Jackets in regulation, the Capitals will start off with Toronto.
Saturday's win over the Bruins was Washington's ninth win in a row over Boston; Barry Trotz has never lost a game to Boston since taking over behind the Washington bench at the outset of the 2014-15 season. The victory over the B's leaves the Capitals with a 23-12-6 road record for the season. Washington finished the season by winning six of its final seven road games.
Video: Williams, Grubauer lead Capitals past Bruins, 3-1
The 900 Club - Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik skated in the 900th game of his NHL career on Saturday, doing so in the city where he played three seasons of collegiate hockey with Boston College from 1998-2001.
The 36-year-old Orpik played in his 900th game more than 14 years after he played in his first NHL game with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Orpik debuted with the Pens on Dec. 10, 2002 in a game against the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
The 500 Club - Caps forward Marcus Johansson skated in the 500th game of his NHL career on Saturday against the Bruins, and he netted the game's first goal on the Caps' first shot on net of the contest, too.
Johansson played in his first NHL game two days after his 20th birthday, on Oct. 8, 2010 against the Thrashers in Atlanta. Eleven days after that, he netted his first NHL goal against Boston goaltender Tim Thomas in a game against the Bruins at Verizon Center on Oct. 19, 2010.
"It's always fun to score early in the game," says Johansson, "and with the 500 [games], it's a little bit nicer, too. That was fun. And I can remember that first goal, too. It's a nice feeling."
Video: Caps players talk after a 3-1 win in Boston
Driving 55 - For the second straight season, the Capitals have won 55 games. They become just the second team in NHL history to win as many as 55 games in consecutive seasons. The Montreal Canadiens had three straight seasons with 58 or more wins starting in 1975-76.
Washington set a franchise record on Saturday with its 53rd win in regulation or overtime (ROW) this season. The Caps' previous standard in that department was 52 regulation/overtime wins achieved last season.
With 238 points in the last two seasons, the Capitals have amassed the most points of any NHL club in consecutive seasons since the Canadiens rolled up 244 points from 1977-79.
Since Trotz and his staff took over at the start of the 2014-15 season, the Caps totals of 339 points and 156 wins are both the most in the NHL.
Video: Coach Trotz after victory in Boston
Down Two Defensemen - Boston blueliner Brandon Carlo departed Sunday's game in the first period after suffering an upper body injury as the result of a hit in the corner from Washington captain Alex Ovechkin. For the B's, it marked the second straight game in which they lost a top four defenseman in the first period of a game and were forced to play with five rearguards the rest of the way.
In Thursday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators, Bruins blueliner Torey Krug left with a lower body injury in the first period. Krug is tied for seventh among all NHL blueliners in scoring this season with 51 points (eight goals, 43 assists).
Krug (21:36) and Carlo (20:48) rank second and third, respectively, among Bruins skaters in average ice time per game, trailing only veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara (23:19).
Down On The Farm - The AHL Hershey Bears earned a 2-1 win over the Marlies in Toronto on Saturday in the rematch of last spring's Eastern Conference final series in the AHL's Calder Cup playoffs.
Tom Gilbert staked the Bears to a 1-0 lead with his third goal of the season at 4:49 of the second period, Riley Barber and Chandler Stephenson assisting.
With 4:21 remaining in the third period, the Marlies' Sergey Kalinin scored to knot the game at 1-1. Just when it appeared the two sides would be headed toward overtime, Stephenson intervened and scored his 10th goal of the season - and first in 25 games - to lift the Bears into the lead with just 8.5 seconds remaining in regulation.
Hershey held on for a critical victory, one that puts it in charge of its playoff destiny. The Bears have two games remaining next weekend, and if they win both of them, they'll make the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs in what has been an incredibly competitive chase for positioning in the Atlantic Division.
Pheonix Copley made 29 saves for Hershey in Saturday's win over the Marlies, running his record to 10-5-0 with the Bears and 25-11-3 on the season.
Down a level, the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays earned a 4-3 win over the Cincinnati Cyclones at North Charleston Coliseum on Saturday. Rob Flick scored twice and Domenic Monardo and Joe Devin added single markers to support Adam Carlson's 24-save efforts in the South Carolina nets.
Flick's first goal was his 30th of the season and his second one was the game-winner at 3:03 of the extra session. Carlson improved to 9-11-1-1 on the season with his victory in the Stingrays' regular season finale.
By The Numbers - Kevin Shattenkirk led the Caps with 22:54 in ice time … Orpik and Matt Niskanen led the Caps with four shots on net each … Niskanen, Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie led the Caps with six shot attempts each … Ovechkin and Tom Wilson led the Capitals with three hits each.