5 things we learned as Bruins fall short in bid to upset Capitals

DJ Bean
January 05, 2016 - 4:35 pm

If the Bruins wanted to use a game against perhaps the best team in the league as a measuring stick, Tuesday could have been a lot worse. Despite the B'€™s suffering their fifth loss in their last six games, Tuesday did not prove to be the rear-kicking that many expected when the Eastern Conference-leading Caps came to town. Down a defenseman for most of the night (Adam McQuaid left in the second period -- see below), the slumping Bruins managed to keep the game close before ultimately suffering a 3-2 loss at TD Garden. Boston pushed back hard in the third period and came within a goal thanks to a two-point night from Patrice Bergeron (one goal, one assist), but the B's were unable to put a third puck past Washington netminder Braden Holtby. That's a common tale given Holtby's dominance over the Bruins, but Tuesday was one of the more encouraging performances in what's been a bad stretch for the Bruins. "For me disappointed at the loss, not disappointed in the effort and you know I think that'€™s the biggest thing," Claude Julien said. "Our guys worked hard, they tried, we had chances and this is a good hockey club. I said it this morning: This is probably in my mind one of the best -- if not the best -- teams in the league." The Bruins will play their next five games on the road, beginning Friday in New Jersey. Here are four more things we learned Tuesday: MCQUAID LEAVES WITH APPARENT HEAD INJURY The Bruins had to play most of the game with five defensemen because of a dirty hit that Adam McQuaid from Zach Sill on his second shift of the second period. Sill slammed McQuaid into the glass along the half wall head-first, forcing McQuaid to fall to the ice, where he remained for multiple minutes. Surprisingly, no penalty was called on the play. McQuaid did not return to the game.

If McQuaid is to miss any stretch of time, Zach Trotman could return to the lineup. KEMPPAINEN RETURNS Speaking of returning to the lineup, Joonas Kemppainen played Tuesday night after missing the previous 11 games with an upper-body injury. Kemppainen centered a third line with Frank Vatrano and Jimmy Hayes. Kemppainen also took a second-period penalty for hooking Marcus Johansson, but the ensuing Washington power play didn'€™t last too long given that T.J. Oshie took an interference minor 48 seconds later. BELESKEY LOSES A GOAL Prior to the game, the NHL announced a scoring change from the Winter Classic. The change, which came four days after the game, credited McQuaid with Boston'€™s only goal of the game. It had appeared live that Matt Beleskey had redirected McQuaid'€™s shot from the point past Canadiens goalie Mike Condon, but the change indicated that the puck had touched a Montreal player and not Beleskey. With the scoring change, Beleskey is now back down to seven goals on the season. AND ERIKSSON GETS ONE Wearing the '€˜A'€™ on his sweater for the second straight game, Loui Eriksson broke out of a mini goal-scoring slump when he took a second-period pass from Brett Connolly on an odd-man rush and beat Holtby short side. Prior to the game, Eriksson had gone five straight games without a goal, though he was a point-a-game player in that stretch thanks to five assists. Beleskey'€™s current goal-scoring pace has him in line to score 30 goals this season. In case you forgot, he'€™s a free agent at season'€™s end.