Boston's longest winning streak in more than four years came to an abrupt end on Monday.
One day later, the Bruins will be trying to bounce back from their first loss in seven games as they host the Florida Panthers.
Boston (35-24-6) was routed 10-2 by Washington on Monday, losing for the first time since a 4-3 overtime defeat in Toronto on Feb. 16. The six-game winning streak was the first since Jan. 29-Feb. 10, 2004, for the Bruins, who had gone 7-0-1 over their previous eight.
"I thought we were playing pretty well and playing with some confidence, but tonight it didn't look that way," said forward Shawn Thornton.
|The Bruins hope to rebound from their first defeat in seven games, a 10-2 loss to the Capitals on Monday, when they host the Panthers tonight at TD Banknorth Garden. (AP Photo/Hans Deryk)
Washington scored six goals in the first period, including three from Alexander Ovechkin. The Bruins had allowed only 12 during their six-game run.
Boston goalie Tim Thomas started and wound up being pulled twice, giving up seven goals.
"It's really tough to take," Thomas said. "It was embarrassing. On the other hand, what's the difference? If you lost 3-2 or you lost like that, we're still in the playoffs as of now. You definitely should learn from it, but you can't get too far down."
The Bruins remained tied with the New York Rangers for sixth place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of eighth-place Philadelphia.
Marco Sturm scored in the second period - his team-high 23rd goal - for Boston, extending his point streak to eight games (four goals, seven assists).
"We've got to forget about this one," he said. "Points are too important, and we've got another game (Tuesday) night. We've got to make sure we come ready to play."
Sturm had a goal and two assists in Boston's last meeting with Florida, a 5-4 shootout win on the road on Feb. 21. However, Boston has lost seven of nine against the Panthers (29-31-8) overall and four straight at home since a 4-1 win on Nov. 3, 2005.
The Panthers won for just the second time in eight games on Sunday, beating the New York Islanders 1-0. Backup goalie Craig Anderson earned his third career shutout despite seeing 53 shots, including 29 in the second period.
According to Florida's official team Web site, the 53 shots were the most faced by a team in a shutout since the NHL started keeping such records in 1955-56.
"A lot went untold there," Anderson said. "A lot of guys were blocking shots, a lot of guys were collapsing, putting their faces on the line.
"Most of the shots were from the outside. They did a good job of clogging up the middle and allowing me to see the puck. A lot of times, I got point shots that hit me in the chest."
Anderson improved to 4-5-1 with a 2.38 goals-against average in 12 games. No. 1 goalie Tomas Vokoun is 0-4-2 with a 3.76 GAA in his last six starts and hasn't won since Feb. 15 against the Capitals.
Vokoun hasn't had much luck against the Bruins, going 3-5-1 with one tie and a 2.91 GAA in 10 career starts against them. However, he is 3-1-1 in the last five of those appearances.
Anderson, meanwhile, is 1-1-0 with a 2.44 GAA in two starts against Boston, including a 4-3 loss on Nov. 29.