5 things we learned: Kevan Miller hurt on hit from Alexander Ovechkin as Bruins lose to Capitals in overtime

DJ Bean
March 05, 2016 - 4:52 pm
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Getting points in both games of a treacherous two-game stretch against the Blackhawks and Capitals was an outcome the Bruins would have gladly taken. That doesn't mean that the fashion in which they lost Saturday doesn't sting. Matt Niskanen beat Tuukka Rask 2:36 into overtime to give the Capitals a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the B's at TD Garden. The game followed Boston's impressive victory over the Blackhawks Thursday. Though the B's got on the board first Saturday with a first-period Patrice Bergeron tally, the second period suggested it might not be the Bruins' night. What would have been Torey Krug's first goal in 40 games was called back when the Capitals challenged that Loui Eriksson was offsides, the Bruins lost Kevan Miller to injury, they failed to score on a prolonged 5-on-3 (among other chances) and a rough period from Dennis Seidenberg eventually resulted in Washington tying the game at a goal apiece. The teams skated to a scoreless third period before Niskanen sealed the victory for the Capitals in OT. Here are four more things we learned Saturday: MILLER HURT Kevan Miller's struggles this season have been well-documented, but the 28-year-old defenseman had turned a corner of late with perhaps his most encouraging play of the season. In the first period of Saturday's game, Miller played a major factor in Patrice Bergeron's goal by gloving the puck as it was about to leave the zone and passing it up to Lee Stempniak as he absorbed a hit from Alexander Ovechkin. Yet it was a later hit from Ovechkin that changed the game, as the Capitals star forward hit Miller from behind in the Washington zone in the second period. Miller left the ice hunched over with what looked like a possible right shoulder injury, which wouldn't be great considering his season ended prematurely last year due to surgery on that shoulder. Ovechkin was given a boarding major but not ejected.

If Miller is to miss time, Zach Trotman will likely enter the lineup in his place.  BERGERON PASSES O'REILLY With his first-period goal (his 26th of the season), Patrice Bergeron picked up his 607th career point. That moved him ahead of Terry O'Reilly for sole possession on the Bruins' all-time points list. Up next for Bergeron is Ken Hodge, who has 674. Bergeron is on something of a hot streak as he moves toward his third career 30-goal season. The two-time Selke-winner has six points (four goals, two assists) in his last five games). NO HOLTBY, YES PROBLEM Because the Capitals were playing the second game of a back-to-back and Braden Holtby played on Friday against the Rangers, the B's got to face Washington backyo Philipp Grubauer. Turns out facing him wasn't much easier. Grubauer turned in a very strong performance in stifling the Bruins in both even strength and on the man advantage. His biggest saves came when he stopped Ryan Spooner during a Bruins' second-period power play and when he closed the door on Landon Ferraro off a pass from Noel Acciari on a Bruins 2-on-1 at the tail end of a Washington power play. SURVIVING AGAINST THE BEST The Capitals entered Saturday's game first in the NHL in both goals per game (3.2) and power play efficiency (24.1 percent success rate), but Tuukka Rask and the Bruins held both in check Saturday. The penalty kill was a perfect 3-for-3 on the night, including a successful kill nearly midway through the third period following a very light call on John-Michael Liles for hooking.
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