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.