The series between the Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals has been as tight as nails, and the two are going to break their 1-1 deadlock on Monday night in our nation’s capitol when they meet in Game 3 of this best-of-seven series.
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What in the heck happened to the Boston offense? This unit for a good chunk of the season was one of the best in the league, and there were more players that could have lit the lamp on any given night on this squad that seemingly any other. That being said, there are just two goals to be accounted for in the first two games of this series, and it goes without saying that that just isn’t going to cut it, especially against a team that is a wreck right now at the goaltending position. The power play has been dull, creating very few good chances and going 0-of-6 in the series, and everything has come down to the play of the defense. Matters weren’t nearly as good in Game 2 as they were in Game 1 when Tim Thomas pitched a shutout, but it’s hard to fault a team that has allowed just two goals in over seven periods of hockey.
There is definitely some folklore being built here for the Capitals, and if they go on to win this series and make a run into the summer, they are going to have some interesting decisions to make in the offseason. Braden Holtby has been all over the place in net, and the argument could be made that after allowing just one goal in each of his first two career playoff starts that he should get the full-time job until he has a bad night before putting back in one of the other net minders that the team has. Boston fired off 44 shots at Holtby on Sunday night, including 14 in the overtime period, and he just never relented in a hostile environment against a great team. Again, there are questions about this offense, though two goals in 4+ periods is a lot better than the no goals that were scored in the first game with just 17 shots on net in 3+ periods. Alexander Ovechkin got on the stat sheet with an assist in the second period, but the hero was Nicklas Backstrom, who scored the OT winner at 2:56 of the second overtime period. Those are the two that are going to have to get going to keep the Caps ahead in this series.
Boston Bruins @ Washington Capitals Pick: This series continues to stay tight. This is now three straight games that have gone to overtime between these two dating back to the regular season, and we have no reason to believe that that won’t continue now that the series has shifted to DC. Go with the hosts in this one, knowing that Washington played a heck of a lot better all season long here at the Verizon Center than it did anywhere else.
Free Hockey Pick: Washington Capitals
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.