The Bruins appeared to have bounced back from Sunday night’s tough 4-3 loss to the Canadiens as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period at the Verizon Center Tuesday night. Unfortunately for the B's, they mailed it in from there as Washington (9-11-1) rallied to tie it late in the third then won it only 37 seconds into overtime for a 4-3 victory that they really needed.
It was definitely Boston’s (14-3-3) worst loss of the season as Eric Fehr split two Bruins defensemen for the game-winner, on a play that looked pretty innocent to start. The B’s still got a point so they have yet to lose back-to-back games in regulation this season but there are clearly some issues with both their defensemen and the third line. Boston scored goals in all three possible ways: shorthanded, even-strength and on the power play.
Brad Marchand had the shorthanded tally, his team-leading 12th of the season, thanks to Alex Ovechkin getting called for hooking when Marchand was on a breakaway. Marchand was awarded a penalty shot and tucked a backhander under Braden Holtby (30 saves). Zdeno Chara had the even strength goal after pinching in the zone then Shawn Thornton fought John Erskine. Rookie Dougie Hamilton scored on a power play after a shaky penalty on Ovechkin.
It seemed like Boston just stopped playing their game once they got the big lead. Washington never gave up and their desperation was rewarded. Mike Ribeiro got the Capitals on the board after a great shift by Ovechkin then Tomas Kundratek netted his first career NHL goal when Rask was screened and couldn’t see his soft shot from the point. The B’s woke up in the third period (after sleepwalking through the second) but they could never find the insurance goal that would have ended it. Wojtek Wolski tied it with 6:05 left in regulation after a fluke bounce on Hamilton’s legs came right to him.
Boston will try to get back to its winning ways on Thursday (7 p.m., NESN) as former Bruin Phil Kessel and the Maple Leafs (14-9-0) come to TD Garden for their first meeting of the season.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate