Boston Bruins vs Washington Capitals Game 1
Anndddd… the NHL playoffs are finally underway. After what’s been a very irregular regular season to say the least, playoff hockey is finally upon us in the NHL. More importantly, Boston Bruins playoff hockey is back and ready for business. The Bruins came into the season with very high expectations, and their goals have been somewhat reached since they first started playing back in January. However, there’s always some room for improvement, and that proves to be the case for even the best teams. The Bruins, while currently in the playoffs, still have much more work to do if they wish to win Lord Stanley’s coveted cup.
That work starts with the Washington Capitals. While the Capitals wouldn’t usually stand out as a fiercely hated opponent, it’s a bit different this time around. Controversy after controversy has caused for the Capitals to be one of the most despised teams in the NHL, especially among Boston fans.
Now, the Bruins have received a chance to take down Washington. A seven game series, deciding who stays and who goes home. It’s the perfect way for a pair of hateful opponents to settle their disputes and earn bragging rights.
The question is, would the Bruins manage to complete that feat in game 1?
1st Period Overview
The first period of the 2021 NHL Playoffs started out with a strong Washington offensive surge. The Capitals were quick to apply pressure to Tuukka Rask, overwhelming the Bruins goaltender whenever the opportunity aroused. Evidently, the Bruins were not ready for the Capitals blitz, as RW Tom Wilson netted in the first goal of the 2021 NHL playoffs over the the shoulder of Rask.
It’s safe to say Boston wasn’t very happy about that. Nobody would be, for that matter. After all the controversy that’s surrounded Wilson’s antics during this season, it only made sense that the Bruins had a quick response for the Capitals.
They did, of course. Jake DeBrusk found the back of the net after a quick shot off a faceoff. The goal tied the game at 1, but had some other serious implications as well. Washington goaltender Vitek Vanecek went down to injury during the play, taking an ugly puck bounce to the pads. Vanecek would not see the ice for the rest of the game, being replaced by third string veteran goalie Craig Anderson.
When everything was said and done, the eventful first period came to a close with a score of 1-1.
2nd Period Overview
The second period saw a similar scoring pattern to that of the first. Brenden Dillon was the first to strike, giving the Capitals a 2-1 lead after a beautiful shot from the blue line. However, the Bruins had an answer for the Capitals once again.
This time it was Nick Ritchie who evened the score out. The Bruins left winger tipped a David Pastrnak shot into the net with under 4 minutes to go in the period, tying the game up at 2.
3rd Period Overview
By the time the third period rolled around, both teams were playing at a much more intense and higher level of hockey. Neither the Bruins nor the capitals could find a crack within one another, as the teams remained scoreless throughout the final period of regulation.
In the first game of the NHL Playoffs, it would take some good old fashioned overtime to decide a winner.
The Bruins’ attempt to stay on par with the Capitals finally came to a close in overtime. While the effort was there, Boston didn’t get much done in the extended period of play.
When the dust had settled, the Capitals took game one by a score of 3-2.
Obviously, this wasn’t the start the Bruins were hoping for. The Capitals were easily considered to be the Bruins fiercest rival of the 2021 season, and an opening loss to them could easily prove to be demoralizing for Boston. If the Bruins wish to come back and ultimately win the series, they’ll have to play smarter and be near-perfect in almost every category. That’s a lot to ask for, but it’s the only way you’ll manage to beat a team such as the Capitals.
So, while next game doesn’t qualify as a must win, it’s certainly time for the Boston Bruins to put their pedal to the metal.
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