WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Boston Bruins' struggling offense got some help from
an unlikely source.
Hal Gill scored his first goal in nearly 11 months, and Felix Potvin made 28
saves for his first win in seven weeks to lead the Boston Bruins to a 3-1
victory Monday night over the Washington Capitals.
The Bruins broke out after scoring just seven goals in an 0-4-2 skid.
Gill, a 6-foot-7, 255-pound defenseman, last scored Feb. 4 against Colorado
but his first-period goal ended a 60-game drought and tied the game.
Joe Thornton won a faceoff back to Gill near the left point. Gill saw the
traffic in front of goalie Olaf Kolzig and decided to take a shot.
"When you've got 700 pounds going to the net, sometimes you can loft it and
no one's going to see it coming," Gill said.
Boston coach Mike Sullivan said Gill's goal was a turning point that gave
the Bruins some much-needed momentum.
"It was huge," Sullivan said. "One of the things we tried to do was put
more pucks to the net. I think that goal was indicative of the type of goal
we've been trying to get."
The Bruins had won once in 12 games (1-6-5), and Sullivan hoped they took a
positive step with the victory.
"It's not like we snap our fingers and we're out of this," Sullivan said.
"I think we really made strides in the right direction."
The Capitals have lost two straight, failing twice to earn the franchise's
Potvin made several tough saves in earning his first win since Nov. 14. He
was pulled after giving up three goals in seven minutes when Washington beat
Colorado 6-5 on Dec. 11.
But Potvin fared much better in this game. He blanked the Capitals after
Jeff Halpern's first-period goal gave Washington the early lead.
"We just need to get confident, get something going and get lucky,"
Washington forward Peter Bondra said. "We are working hard and winning
battles, but things are just not happening offensively."
Halpern scored on the rebound of Jaromir Jagr's redirected shot in front of
Potvin with 7:46 left in the first period.
Gill scored with 4:29 left in the first, flicking a wrist shot through
traffic and past the screened Kolzig.
Ted Donato gave the Bruins a 2-1 advantage by scoring a short-handed goal
with 54.9 seconds left in the period. Travis Green's crossing pass at the end
of the two-on-one rush set up the goal.
Patrice Bergeron added an insurance goal for Boston in the third period.