Bruins Force Game 7

Apr 22, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Boston Bruins center Tyler Seguin (19) celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against the Washington Capitals in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

It once again took extra time, but with their backs against the wall, the Boston Bruins dug deep and gutted out a win in our nation’s capital. It was not the prettiest game, but the black and gold battled hard for 70 minutes and forced a game 7 back in Boston on Wednesday. The Bruins would be without Joe Corvo, but got Patrice bergeron in the lineup, though not at 100 percent and only taking one draw.

It was a back and forth affair with huge momentum swings for the first 60 minutes, each team trying not to make that pivotal mistake. The Bruins would find themselves up 2-1 going into the first intermission, getting goals from Rich Peverley(3) and David Krejci (PPG 1). Mike Green scored the Capitals lone first period tally after a pile up in front of the net. Boston controlled much of the play in the first but only found themselves with a slight 11-10 advantage on shots when the horn sounded.

The second period yielded an early double minor power play for the Bruins when Chara’s nose was busted open on an Ovechkin high stick. The Bruins wasted the four minutes and looked sloppy and lost, Washington gaining a tremendous amount of momentum off the lengthy kill. The Capitals outshot the Bruins 15-5 despite the PP opportunities for Boston. A confusing non call in the neutral zone after Brad Marchand was leveled by Jason Chimera led to the only goal in the second. The aforementioned hit led to an odd man advantage for Washington and Chimera snuck down the far wall and tipped in a cross ice pass from Nick Backstrom to tie it up at 2.

Boston would open the third with a 4 on 3 advantage after matching minors were assessed and then Matt Hendricks went to the box for tripping. The Bruins would squander that opportunity as well, once again giving Washington confidence and momentum. The third went back and forth again with both teams ringing the iron. Then at 11:57 Tyler Seguin put the puck off Holtby’s mask, which he said he was trying to do, and it carreamed back to Andrew Ference in the slot who deposited the puck top shelf to give the Bruins the lead. It would stay tied for less than four minutes. Rich Peverley lost a draw in the Bruins zone and Ovechkin was in the shooters position and beat Tim Thomas five-hole. For the third time this series the game went to overtime.

In typical playoff overtime fashion, this one ended quickly. Washington would get off one shot, Boston only unleashing two, when Tyler Seguin corralled the puck and patiently outwaited Holtby. He deposited the puck in the back of the net and crawled back into the good graces of Bruins nation after being inexcusably absent in most of the first five games. The Bruins backs were pressed against the wall and did a tremendous job of showing the character and resiliency of this team. There have been too many mental breakdowns and missed opportunities. There has been a lack of timely goaltending and some softies have gone through. There have been too many shots missing the nets, some bad breaks and some grotesque officiating. Through it all, the Bruins have found a way to force a game 7 back in Boston and attempt to take advantage of that home ice advantage they won by locking up a top 3 seed. There is no more time for mental lapses, no more time for “we will get back to it tomorrow” hockey. Wednesday night is win or go home hockey. With this teams experience and resiliency, and Tim Thomas now being 9-2 in elimination games, I am an optimistic supporter. I have the butterflies and my stomach is in knots, but Wednesday I will be in Boston supporting our Bruins. Puck drops at 7:30, and here’s to finishing off the Caps and moving on with the greatest post season in sports. Let’s Go Black And Gold!!

 

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