BOSTON – Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara shadowed Washington’s Alex Ovechkin all night.
Outscored him, too. Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots for his first shutout this season, Marc Savard broke a scoreless tie in the second period and the Bruins – behind Chara’s lead – throttled Ovechkin in a 2-0 victory over the Capitals on Thursday night.
“You see what Z does for us back there,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “We’re always pairing him up against guys like Ovechkin.”
Besides keeping the high-scoring Ovechkin off the scoresheet, Chara added a power-play goal in the third period for Boston, which has won two straight following a six-game losing streak.
Ovechkin, second in the NHL with 30 goals, had a seven-game point streak snapped and was held without a point for only the seventh time this season. He had four goals and three assists in his previous two games, and at least one point in 23 of his past 25.
“Most terrible game of the season for us,” Ovechkin said. “We don’t move, we don’t shoot the puck.
“We were sleeping tonight – everybody,” Ovechkin said. “Only Olie (Kolzig) played well. I don’t know what happened to us.”
Washington, coming off a home-and-home sweep of Eastern Conference-leading Ottawa, lost in regulation for the first time in six games.
Chara logged 26 1/2 minutes of ice time, much of it while Ovechkin was on the ice.
“He stays out there for a long time, but we have to play our game,” Chara said. “I do my job for maybe 45 seconds and if he decides to stay out there we have someone else that can do the job.”
Savard hustled out of the penalty box to grab a loose puck in the corner, sending a pass to Glen Metropolit in the slot. Savard then circled out front, fired a shot and scored off his own rebound for his first goal in nine games to make it 1-0 at 13:35 of the second.
Chara beat Kolzig with a slap shot from the left point while Boston was skating on a two-man advantage with exactly 10 minutes left.
Washington pulled Kolzig with a power play and 2:19 to play.
Boston held Ovechkin without a shot on goal in the opening period, but he had an excellent chance in the second when he fired a wrister from the slot that clanged off the left post 1:52 into the period.
“Luck,” he muttered.
Thomas, who recorded his fifth career shutout, stopped Ovechkin on a pair of rebounds with just under 12 minutes to play. The first came off Nicklas Backstrom’s shot from the right circle.
“You have to give (Thomas) credit,” Washington center Michael Nylander said. “He played a great game.”
Notes: Bruins D Shane Hnidy, acquired from Anaheim for Brandon Bochenski and a 2008 sixth-round draft choice on Wednesday, wore No. 34 and was in the starting lineup . . . Boston sent D Matt Hunwick down to its AHL team at Providence, R.I., before the game . . . The Bruins won all four meetings last season in overtime, three in shootouts . . . Seven of the last nine games between the clubs went to OT . . . Washington D Mike Green got a double minor for high-sticking and cutting Boston’s Milan Lucic in the third . . . Washington RW Alex Semin and D Tom Poti each missed the game with injuries sustained in the previous game.