Bruins fall to Capitals

We’re not sure exactly who they’ve been the past few days but the team that has allowed nine goals in its first two games after the Olympic break has barely resembled the Bruins that were playing great hockey and firmly in control of the Atlantic Division. Boston (37-17-5) fell, 4-2, to Washington (29-23-9) at TD Garden Saturday. Coming on the heels of a 5-4 overtime loss in Buffalo on Wednesday, the B’s expected more in front of their home crowd.

“We haven’t played together in a couple weeks and it has shown,” said goaltender Tuukka Rask. “We talked about these things before the game but mental errors cost us again. We showed glimpses of how good we can be.”

Head coach Claude Julien referred to it as “catchup hockey.” For the second straight game, Boston allowed the first goal and this time they put themselves in an even deeper hole by handing a 3-0 lead to Washington on a pair of power-play goals for Alex Ovechkin and a defensive turnover leading to a breakaway and goal for Joel Ward.

Patrice Bergeron gave the Bruins some life with a power-play goal and Shawn Thornton’s goal cut it to 3-2 late in the second period. Another key breakdown by Boston’s defense sealed the loss as Eric Fehr scored on his breakaway midway through the third to go up 4-2.

“We were caught cheating too much offensively, that’s something we have to fix if we expect to win,” noted Julien. “It’s not a bad thing to have a back-to-back at this point.”

Boston is in New York Sunday night (7, NBCSN) to face the Rangers (33-25-3) at Madison Square Garden. This was the start of three games in four nights and a very busy week with games Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

What they’ll be saying: Nobody employed by the Bruins (the players that spoke afterwards in the locker room or Julien at his press conference) would admit it, but clearly the trade deadline (Wednesday at 3 p.m.) is weighing on their minds. Uneven performances like the one in Buffalo and this afternoon vs. Washington reinforce the common notion that Boston could use another veteran defenseman or two with Dennis Seidenberg out for the rest of the season (not a new development mind you).

Sidney Crosby’s brilliance is well documented but for whatever reason (lack of playoff success?), Ovechkin doesn’t get nearly the same love when he’s obviously the second best offensive player in the NHL and top goal-scorer. He leads the league in goals (43) by a healthy margin after his pair vs. Boston and you won’t find a more lethal one-timer.

Something to remember, should these teams meet in the postseason: Rask has never beaten the Capitals (0-3-3) while Braden Holtby (4-0-0) is undefeated against the Bruins. Washington has plenty of work to do to stay in the playoff mix but they would be an opponent the B’s would probably want to avoid. This was the first of three meetings this season with Boston hosting Washington again on Thursday, then going to DC on March 29.

Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Cabbie tried to sexually assault passenger with kids…

NYPD is on the lookout for a taxi driver suspected of trying to sexually assault a female passenger while her three kids were in the car.

Breaking: National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…