Washington 4, Boston 3
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
WASHINGTON – (Wire Service Report) – Mixed emotions, critical comments and a players-only meeting were on the menu for Washington Capitals following Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Bruins. Washington won.
Nicklas Backstrom scored with 3:24 left in overtime, and the Capitals defeated the Bruins 4-3 at Verizon Center, snapping the Boston’s three-game winning streak. Washington (15-7-3) won its seventh straight against Boston despite surrendering a 3-0 second-period lead and being outshot 34-20. The Capitals went without a shot on goal for over 26 minutes during one stretch beginning in the second period and extending past the halfway mark of the third.
“I thought they really outplayed us in the third period and really we were lucky to get two points to be honest,” Backstrom said. “I think that’s on us and that’s maybe why we had a little talk.”
The locker room doors remained closed longer than usual as the players met.
“We had a little talk in here and there’s some things we’ve got to clean up,” said T.J. Oshie, who returned after missing seven games due to a shoulder injury.
“I think it’s more of mentality than it is any systems or anything like that. Once we get a step up on somebody, we’ve got to get that mentality that we’re going to finish them off.”
In the overtime, Backstrom broke in two-on-one with Nate Schmidt. He fed Schmidt, who sent the puck back, and Backstrom waited momentarily before firing past goalie Tuukka Rask for his eighth goal of the season.
Justin Williams scored twice and Daniel Winnik added a goal for Washington in regulation. Braden Holtby made 31 saves.
“We sat back,” Williams said. “A 3-0 lead isn’t like it was 10 years ago. You still have to play the same way that got you the lead.”
Dominic Moore, David Pastrnak and Colin Miller scored for Boston (15-10-2). Rask stopped 16 shots and fell to 1-8-5 in his career against Washington.
Pastrnak’s goal was his 16th, surpassing his total of 15 goals in 51 games last season.
Miller tied it with two seconds left on a power play when he one-timed a blast past Holtby from high in the slot at 8:19 of the third period.
“(Heck) of an effort. We got a big point for us,” Pastrnak said. “To comeback from 3-0 against Washington, it’s not that easy. Too bad we couldn’t get the two points, but in this case the one point is huge for us.”
Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen appeared to hit his head when he was boarded by Patrice Bergeron in the first period. He skated off but did not return. The team later announced he would be re-evaluated Thursday.
Washington (15-7-3) took a fast 1-0 lead when on a rush when Evgeny Kuznetsov sent the puck on net and Williams deflected it in midair past Rask 23 just seconds in.
“To be honest it’s nice to see the puck go in the net,” said Williams. “I’ve been pressing and working hard. Hopefully this can springboard me to some more production.”