Craig Smith scored 5:48 into the second sudden-death overtime Wednesday night at the TD Garden to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of their best-of-seven first-round series for a 2-1 series lead.
Smith took advantage of miscommunication between Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov and defensemen Justin Schultz to collect a loose puck and stuff the game-winner on a wrap-around on Samsonov.
With a series lead, the Bruins will look to control of the series Friday night in Game 4 back at the TD Garden. Before we look ahead to Game 4, let’s take a look back at Game 3 with some takeaways.
Bruins takeaways from Game 3.
- Neither team was able to get any 5-on-5 flow in the first period as each team was called for three minor penalties and each team failed to capitalize on their three power play chances. The Bruins missed a golden opportunity with a 55-second 5-on-3 power play. Luckily that did not come back to haunt them.
- Fifty-six seconds after Alex Ovechkin gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead with a power play goal in the second period, Taylor Hall responded with as pretty of a goal as you will see. So far, so good through three playoff games for the newly acquired Hall.
- After Brad Marchand tied the game in the third period, the Bruins, you could say, survived the remainder of regulation and were lucky to get to overtime. They struggled to get any kind of exit out of their own zone, which was concerning that their controlled exits were very shaky at best. They got lucky at the end of regulation as Washington forward Tom Wilson had a golden chance because of a lazy exit by the Bruins, but just missed.
- The defensive pair of Brandon Carlo and Mike Reilly has seen better nights than the one they had in Game 3. They were out of position on Nic Dowd’s second-period goal that gave the Caps a 2-1 lead when Carlo got caught trying to get involved in an offensive rush that never happened. They need to be better.
- Say what you want about Tuukka Rask, but when he needed to make a big save, he made it. Nothing he could do on either goal. Ovechkin was left alone in the slot for a one-timer and Dowd’s goal was a redirection that should have never happened because of a careless turnover in the Boston end.
- Speaking of Rask, he got a little feisty in the second period, and rightfully so. Garnet Hathaway fell over Rask crashing the net, knocking the Boston goaltenders mask off. While Hathaway was down on the ice in front of him, Rask took the opportunity to take four punches at him, then give the referee an earful. Good for Tuukka.
The Bruins have the Capitals frustrated and need to keep in that way in Game 4. Washington is too talented to have a letdown. Boston needs to keep the foot down and do the little things to win the series.