The Washington Capitals are heading back to Washington, D.C. with a 3-2 series lead over the Boston Bruins, having reclaimed home ice advantage with a late game-winning goal. The Bruins came back from 2-0 down to tie the game, then 3-2 down to tie it again on Saturday, but gave away a power play in the closing minutes which the Caps converted on to win 4-3.
Washington scored their first two goals in the second period, and the Bruins looked deflated when Jay Beagle scored the second. Incredibly, Boston fought back and scored two goals in a period of 28 seconds to tie the game. Up until that point, Braden Holtby had been flawless, but he could have done more to stop the goals by Dennis Seidenberg and Brad Marchand.
The Caps took the lead back early in the third period and it was very much on Thomas. He gave up a terrible rebound on a half-hearted fling towards the net by Joel Ward, setting up Mike Knuble for an easy goal.
Four minutes later, Dennis Wideman took a bad penalty for cross checking Marchand and the Capitals would pay for it. Johnny Boychuk capitalized on the power play, leveling the score once again. The Caps would get the last laugh, however, scoring the winner in similar fashion, on a power play given to them with a poor penalty. Once again, Thomas was to blame for the goal.
With under three minutes remaining in the game, Benoit Pouliot was whistled for slashing Nicklas Backstrom, sending the Caps to the power play. The Bruins killed off half the penalty, but Thomas gave up an extremely soft goal to gift Washington the win. Troy Brouwer was the scorer with a wrist shot from a narrow angle, to Thomas's glove side. It was a shot that, nine times out of ten, Thomas saves without much of an issue.
The Capitals and Bruins will turn around and play again on Sunday in Washington with no day off, and the Caps will have a chance to advance on home ice.
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