BOSTON (Ticker) — A game between the top two teams in the
Eastern Conference played with postseason intensity ended in
Alexander Semin beat goaltender Tim Thomas on a 70-foot shot
from outside the blue line just 22 seconds into overtime
Saturday, giving the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory over the
“I think he was tired and threw the puck in the zone to go
change, but it was a goal,” said Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, who
scored his league-leading 45th goal. “It was good for us.”
“Maybe he was going for a line change,” Washington coach Bruce
Boudreau added. “Nine times out of 10, he’ll deke four guys
before he shoots, so that’s a blessing.”
The Capitals (40-18-5), who think they can catch Boston for
first overall in the East, climbed within eight points of the
Bruins (42-12-9). Washington also won the season series against
the Bruins, taking three of the four meetings.
“We still have 19 games, anything can happen,” Ovechkin added.
“Of course we want to be first. If you are first in conference
or division it doesn’t matter, you want to be in the Stanley Cup
The Capitals think they are getting into the Bruins’ heads,
something Boston coach Claude Julien disputes.
“These are two of the top teams in the conference,” Julien said.
“I’ve heard them say they think they are in our heads. They do
a lot of talking.
“They’re one-goal games, they could’ve gone either way. If
anything, it’s two good teams going at each other. But I don’t
think they scare us.”
The Bruins did come away with a point as Zdeno Chara’s
power-play goal – the 100th of his career – with 4:37 remaining
in the third period forced the overtime.
However, Semin’s goal, his 24th of the season, left the Bruins
and the crowd at the TD Banknorth Garden in disbelief.
Semin’s rising drive from just outside the right blue line
skipped in front of the net before bouncing underneath Thomas’
pads and into the net.
“Call it a lucky goal, a bad goal,” Julien said. “We can call
it what we want, but it was a shot that shouldn’t go in. It
wasn’t one of (Thomas’) better outings. A couple of tough
goals. It’s like everything else. You take responsibility.”
The Bruins erased a pair of one-goal deficits, tying the
contest, 2-2, on Phil Kessel’s 26th of the season 9:06 into the
Kessel’s goal came just 18 seconds after Ovechkin had given the
Capitals a 2-1 lead.
Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom and Boston’s Matt Hunwick traded
goals in the first 5:03 of the opening period.
The Capitals grabbed their third lead on Tomas Fleischmann’s
power-play goal 2:20 into the third.
Jose Theodore held off the Bruins for most of the third period,
recording 14 of his 34 saves. The Capitals killed off two power
plays in the third before Chara tied it.
“We played really well,” Chara said. “We were aggressive, we
were forcing them to back off, and eventually we got rewarded
when they started taking penalties.”
Thomas, who was coming off a 6-0 win over Anaheim on Thursday,
finished with 28 saves.
“Timmy also plays so many games so well for us, so you really
can’t blame him,” Chara added. “Those things happen, and it’s