Boston, MA – A second-period outburst propelled the Boston Bruins to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Washington Capitals at TD Garden on Friday night. Boston blew open a 1-0 lead when Trent Frederic, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand all netted goals in just over eight minutes of play. Jaroslav Halak stopped 31 shots in earning his fourth win of the year.
Marchand gave the Bruins the 1-0 lead at 14:21 of the first period when he backhanded a Bergeron feed over a stickless Capitals goalie Vitek Vanecek (14 saves). Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy assisted on Marchand’s 11th goal of the season.
The Capitals had the period’s only power play just seconds after surrendering the goal when Charlie Coyle was whistled for Slashing on Caps defenseman Dimitry Orlov. The Bruins penalty kill limited the Washington offense to only one shot on goal during the man advantage.
The chippiness of the previous game, on Wednesday, carried over into this one. Tom Wilson and Frederic had a few clashes along the boards late in the period. Wilson then proceeded to catch Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo with a high hit in the corner. Carlo was down for a few minutes, while Wilson was not called for any penalty on the play.
A Brenden Dillon Roughing penalty just twenty seconds into the second gave the Bruins a power play. The “make-up call” didn’t amount to much, but the Bruins did carry that momentum forward.
Newcomer Jarred Tinordi exchanged words with Wilson during a television time-out. When play resumed, the two squared off; it appeared that the 6′-5″ Bruins defenseman had the better of the bout. Each was assessed a Five Minute Major for Fighting at 6:12.
Frederic put the Bruins up 2-0 when he redirected a McAvoy shot-pass past Vanecek. Craig Smith picked up the secondary assist on Frederic’s third goal of the year.
Bergeron made it 3-0 Boston when he deposited a David Pastrnak feed into a wide-open Capitals net at 9:01. The Bruins’ top-line showcased their passing prowess on the tic tac toe Bergeron goal.
Marchand’s second of the night made it 4-0 Bruins. Marchand tapped a cross-ice pass from defenseman Matt Grzelcyk into the Caps net at the side of the post.
Nick Ritchie capped off the Bruins scoring at 1:05 of the third period when he wristed a David Krejci pass past back-up goalie Ilya Samsonov (6 saves in relief).
Wilson had another fight in the third. This time against Frederic. The two tangled in the previous series in D.C. in February. The Bruins winger was assessed the extra two minutes for Instigating this one.
Washington pulled a goal back at 13:36 when Jakub Vrana sniped a shot past Halak from the bottom of the right circle. Nicklas Backstrom and T.J Oshie assisted the 25-year-old Czech’s eighth goal of the season. The assist for Backstrom was his 700th career assist.
With the win, Boston (12-5-3) pulled to within a point of Washington atop the MassMutual East division standings. Washington (13-6-4) is currently tied with the New York Islanders (13-6-4) with 30 points.
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy did not have an update on Carlo’s status immediately after the game. He told the media that Carlo was transported by ambulance to the hospital.
“He hit him clearly in the head,” said Cassidy. “A defenseless player. A predatory hit from a player that’s done that before.”
“We felt it was completely unnecessary. Dirty,” added an agitated Cassidy.
The view from the Capitals bench was different.
“I mean, his feet were on the ice. He stayed down with everything,” said Capitals coach Peter Laviolette. “It just looked like a hard hit in the corner. I’m not sure exactly sure what happened, but to me, it looked like just a hit.”
“It didn’t need to be said,” said Marchand about what was said in between periods. “Guys took control and answered the bell.”
Boston faces New Jersey at TD Garden on Sunday at 5 pm. This game is rescheduled from February 15.
Washington, meanwhile, travels to Philadelphia for a Sunday game as well, 7 pm puck drop. The two teams were supposed to play this game in February.
Bruins celebration photo used courtesy of Brian Fluharty and InsideHockey