NHL roundup: Bruins take 2-1 lead
The NHL playoff roundup ….
WASHINGTON — Zdeno Chara scored the tiebreaking goal during 4-on-4 play with less than 2 minutes left, and reigning Stanley Cup champion Boston solved playoff rookie goalie Braden Holtby and beat Washington to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.
Chara’s shot from the right circle appeared to get deflected on its way past Holtby. The Bruins captain also had two assists.
Tim Thomas, last season’s playoff MVP, made 29 saves and ignored the taunting from fans who held up photos of President Barack Obama, reminding Boston’s goalie that he turned down a trip to the White House in January with his teammates.
Game 4 is Thursday in Washington. After that, the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series shifts back to Boston for Game 5 on Saturday.
Brian Rolston, Rich Peverley and Daniel Paille also scored for the Bruins.
Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich got Washington’s goals. Laich scored on a breakaway with 6 minutes left to make it 3-3, but Chara came through with 1:53 remaining.
Holtby, who blocked 72 of 74 shots through the first two games, made 25 saves.
The action was more free-flowing than it had been in the series, and perhaps the teams were due. The Bruins ranked second in the NHL during the regular season with 269 goals, and no team had more players with 20 goals than Boston’s six. The Capitals have emphasized defense lately, but they still boast talented forwards such as Ovechkin, Semin and Nicklas Backstrom.
Game 1 went to overtime before Boston won 1-0, and Game 2 wasn’t decided until the second extra period, when Washington claimed a 2-1 victory. Two games and a whopping total of four goals.
There were four goals in 11/2 periods Monday, and a lot more hitting and fighting and penalties. After one prolonged skirmish involving a handful of players, Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner made a fist and rotated it near his eye, as if to say to one of the Bruins, “Why are you being such a crybaby?”
RANGERS 1, SENATORS 0
OTTAWA — Henrik Lundqvist made 39 saves for his fourth NHL playoff shutout, and Brian Boyle scored for the third straight game to break a third-period tie as the New York Rangers beat the Ottawa Senators 1-0 on Monday night.
The Rangers, who lost Game 2 at home in overtime, lead the best-of-seven, first-round series 2-1. Game 4 will be Wednesday night in Ottawa before the series returns to New York.
Lundqvist’s biggest save came in the last minute when he robbed Kyle Turris on the doorstep with a quick pad stop.
Craig Anderson was nearly as good, keeping the Senators in it with a 22-save effort.
Ottawa was without captain Daniel Alfredsson, who sustained a concussion in Game 2 when he was elbowed in the head by Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin. Hagelin served the first of a three-game NHL suspension for the hit.
Bobby Butler replaced Alfredsson. Chris Kreider, who nine days earlier won the NCAA championship with Boston College, made his NHL debut in place of Hagelin.