For the first time this season, everyone on Boston’s top line all played well in the same game as Nathan Horton (1 goal, 2 assists), David Krejci (1 goal, 2 assists) and Milan Lucic (career-high 3 assists) combined for nine of the Bruins' (19-4-3) 12 points as they romped over the lifeless Capitals (11-15-1), 4-1,
Saturday afternoon at TD Garden. The Bruins avenged a bitter 4-3 overtime loss in DC on March 5, when they blew a 3-0 lead.
Facing the first game of a back-to-back, backup goaltender Anton Khudobin (5-2-0) got the start for Boston and as usual, he played well with 32 saves. This was a Bruins type of game since they played with more snarl (36-27 advantage in hits) and had three fighting majors (Adam McQuaid, Horton and Brad Marchand). They improved to 11-3-1 this season when they have at least one fight and a perfect 5-0-0 in matinees.
Lucic showed off his playmaking ability late in the first period with assists to Horton and Krejci for a pair of one-timers. Khudobin would have recorded his first shutout as a Bruin if it wasn’t for Krejci’s mistake. He banked the puck into Boston’s net off of Johnny Boychuk’s skate. No worries though as Andrew Ference picked up his first goal of the season later in the second period after a nifty drop pass from Horton. Rich Peverley added a power-play goal in the third period, showing that it was Boston’s day.
The Bruins are back in Pittsburgh Sunday (12:30 p.m., NBC) to face the Penguins (21-8-0). Pittsburgh is riding an eight-game win streak after its 3-0 shutout of the Rangers Saturday. The Penguins also beat the B’s 3-2 on Tuesday after Boston blew a 2-0 lead at Consol Energy Center.
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter: @RichSlate