In the Stanley Cup playoffs, you need to take advantage of gifts given to you by the opponent. Wednesday night in Game 3 of their best-of-seven series that was tied 1-1 with the Washington Capitals, the Boston Bruins took advantage of two chances that were given to them by the Caps.
Trailing 2-1 with nine minutes left in the game, Boston was given a gift power play as Capitals forward Nic Dowd took a high sticking penalty against Charlie McAvoy behind the play at center ice. Talk about a bad penalty.
Struggling on the power play in their four previous chances, with Washington goalie Ilya Samsonov making some timely saves, the Black and Gold cashed in on Dowd’s penalty. Brad Marchand, who scored the game-winning overtime goal in Game 2 Monday night to even the series, tied the game at 2-2 when he batted the puck out of the air and into the net.
The two teams would play the rest of the third period and the first sudden-death overtime without either team finding the back of the net, but in the second overtime, the Bruins took advantage of one more gift from the Capitals.
Just under six minutes into the second extra session, Samsonov went behind his net to play the puck. There was some miscommunication between Samsonov and defensemen Justin Schultz, which allowed Craig Smith to collect the puck and swing around the net and slide the puck under Samsonov for a 3-2 victory and a 2-1 series lead.
Imagine if Tuukka Rask did that and the Bruins lost that way? Yikes.
In the playoffs, sometimes it’s better to lucky than good. Wednesday night, the Bruins took advantage of two gifts handed to them by Washington to take the series lead ahead of Friday night’s Game 4.