Streak Stopper - Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins finally figured out a way to beat the Caps on Sunday, keeping Washington off the scoreboard and getting out of town with a 1-0 victory. The win was Boston's first over the Capitals in nearly five years, ending a streak of 14 straight Washington wins over the Bruins, which had been the longest active streak of its kind in the NHL.
The Caps got into some early penalty trouble and didn't seem to find their footing until early in the third period. Even in the third when Washington was able to construct some lengthy possession shifts in the offensive zone, the Bruins did a good job of clogging up the middle of the ice and forcing the Caps to settle for low percentage shots from the outside. Whenever they did get a rare look from a sweet spot, Rask - who is now 7-0-2 in his last 10 starts - had the answer.
Video: Postgame Locker Room | February 3
"They've got big bodies, especially their [defensemen], long sticks, and they take up a lot of space," says Caps blueliner John Carlson of the Bruins. "If they're going to collapse like they did, you've got to find different ways that we talk about and know how to break those kind of teams down. I think we tried to do a little bit too much instead of simplifying. Usually when you simplify things, you start getting chances that way and then a lot of other stuff opens up for us. We didn't give ourselves enough time to move on from that."
Washington put some pressure on the Bruins' net front in the third, but still wasn't able to cash in on any second chance opportunities, narrowly missing on a couple.
"Very stingy," says Bruins captain Zdeno Chara of his team's performance in front of Rask. "I would say we had our best effort to be committed to play right away. I thought it was a very tight game. When we needed a save at the right time, we got that from Tuukka. A one-goal game against a very dangerous offensive team like Washington, and we finally got the win."
Prior to Sunday, the Bruins' most recent win over Washington was a 4-2 triumph here in the District on March 29, 2014. Chad Johnson was in net for the Bruins on that night.
Video: Todd Reirden Postgame | February 3
Top Of The Charts - Rask defeated the Caps for just the second time in his career and the first time since March 6, 2014, which was also a shutout win, but by a 3-0 count in Boston. Sunday's win over the Caps was the 253rd victory of Rask's NHL career, pushing him past Hockey Hall of Famer Tiny Thompson for the all-time lead among Bruins goaltenders.
What's remarkable about this achievement is that the Bruins are an Original Six team that has been in business since 1924-25. Thompson's last win in a Boston sweater came early in the B's Stanley Cup-winning season of 1938-39. That's when Boston dealt Thompson to Detroit. The emergence of rookie sensation Frankie Brimsek made Thompson expendable.
Thompson's team mark stood for more than eight decades. While Rask now sits on top of Boston's all-time win list, each of the three goaltenders immediately behind him on that ledger is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame: Thompson (252), Brimsek (230) and Gerry Cheevers (226).
"I enjoy it, obviously, but it doesn't change anything really in my mind, during the season or after the season," says Rask of holding the team record. "Your name is in the history books, that's about it. Someday, somebody else is going to come and break it. Hopefully I can put up a couple of more and get some cushion."
One Is The Loneliest Number - Rask's 1-0 shutout of the Caps was the first 1-0 whitewashing the Caps have suffered on home ice since Nov. 14, 2014 when Cory Schneider and his New Jersey Devils turned the trick here in D.C.
Video: WSH Recap: Holtby makes 38 saves in 1-0 loss at home
By The Numbers - Alex Ovechkin led the Caps with 24:17 in ice time … John Carlson led the Capitals with four shots on net, and he and Ovechkin led the team with eight shot attempts … Tom Wilson led Washington with seven hits … Michal Kempny, Dmitry Orlov and Brooks Orpik each blocked two shots to lead the Caps … The Caps won only 19 of 52 face-offs (37 percent) in the game, and they won only five of 21 draws (24 percent) in the third period of Sunday's game.