Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom will sit out Game 4 as a result of an automatic suspension due to a match penalty received at the end of Game 3. The suspension is up for NHL review on Tuesday afternoon, and it's possible they overturn it.
In the end, the Washington Capitals just couldn't hold off the Boston Bruins. Brian Rolston gave Boston a 3-2 lead a minute into the third period, and Nicklas Backstrom fed Brooks Laich with a beautiful pass that led to an even prettier goal 13 minutes later, but it was Zdeno Chara's goal with less than two minutes left in regulation that led the visiting Bruins to a 4-3 victory over Washington.
The shot deflected off the stick of Capitals defenseman Roman Hamrlik and beat goaltender Braden Holtby up high on the glove side. It was probably an unjust fate for Holtby, but nevertheless, Boston holds a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4 on Thursday night at Verizon Center.
Will that contest feature a bit of the physical play? Game 3 got a bit chippy down the stretch, with Milan Lucic, Karl Alzner, Backstrom and Brad Marchand just a few of the participants, but the officials did a decent job of keeping emotions in check. You have to imagine that a physical game suits Boston more than it does Washington, but the Caps have been in lockstep with the B's all series long. This series is far from over.
The second period between the Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals was the definition of even. Both teams put up their fair share of shots, both teams got their fair number of chances, and at the end of 40 minutes of hockey in Game 3, the score is all even at 2-2.
Rich Peverley opened the scoring in the second period, tying things up at 1-1 before Alex Ovechkin gave Washington the lead right back seconds later. Then, midway through the period, Daniel Paille scored off a juicy rebound given up by Braden Holtby. Paille won position in front of Holtby's crease and delivered the puck to the back of the net with ease.
The second period was one full of jockeying for position, though, and even though the score's tied, it's apparent that Milan Lucic won that battle. Brooks Laich may agree.
Do not make Milan Lucic angry. Both players were given unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the play.
The Washington Capitals carried a 1-0 lead into the locker room at the first intermission of Game 3 against the Boston Bruins at Verizon Center, and the B's responded just 35 seconds into the second period with a goal from Rich Peverley. The score wasn't tied a 1-1 for long, though.
With plenty of open ice during a four-on-four situation, Alex Ovechkin outran Bruins defenseman Joe Corvo for a loose puck, blazed by him and put a shot on Tim Thomas' net. It went in, and the Capitals grabbed the 2-1 lead.
Braden Holtby looks on yet again for the Capitals, and this game seems a bit further up Washington's alley thus far. You know, goal scoring and whatnot. Those trends bode well for the home team, but anything can change at any point.