NHL roundup: Capitals hold off Bruins
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A late-period score and blown lead Saturday afternoon could have been enough to send the Washington Capitals to another road loss in this up-and-down season. Instead, things may be turning their way at the right time.
After a comeback win against Tampa Bay at home two days earlier, the Capitals blew an early two-goal lead, but recovered to beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, 4-3.
The Capitals jumped ahead, 2-0, in the opening 8:15 before giving up a score with 5.6 seconds left in the first period and allowing the tying goal in the second.
"It's a coach's worst nightmare, giving up a late goal, and they tied it later, but the guys just kept pushing," Capitals coach Dale Hunter said.
Alexander Semin had a goal and set up Jay Beagle's go-ahead score, leading Washington to its second consecutive win after a three-game losing streak (0-2-1). It was Washington's 12th road win in 33 games (12-18-3) this season.
"I think we started pretty well," Washington's Alex Ovechkin said. "I think we found a way to put the puck in their zone, make a cycle and put traffic in front of the net."
The Capitals moved two points ahead of Winnipeg for sole possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Washington also trails Florida by one point in the Southeast Division.
Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic and Johnny Boychuk scored for Boston, which will visit the Penguins at 12:30 p.m. today.
Tim Thomas, playing in his eighth consecutive game, made 26 saves for Boston.
Bruins coach Claude Julien was upset by his team's effort and concentration at the beginning. The first two goals came off rebounds.
"We talked about it before the game -- they've got some guys that are dangerous there. To me, it was just careless," he said.
Washington improved to 20-0-0 when it leads after two periods.
Boston tied the score at 2-2 on Marchand's goal 4:58 into the second before the Capitals scored twice over the final 8:38 to take a 4-2 edge into the third.
Seconds after the Bruins killed off Greg Zanon's holding penalty, the Capitals kept the pressure on and Beagle scored on a wrister in the slot off a pass from Semin. They made it 4-2 on Laich's power-play score late in the period. Boychuk cut it to 4-3 with a goal in his second game in a row after not getting one since Dec. 3.
• Avalanche 3, Oilers 2: Milan Hejduk and Peter Mueller scored in the shootout and Semyon Varlamov stopped both shots he faced as host Colorado beat Edmonton. Cody McLeod and Mueller added goals in regulation for the surging Avalanche, who kept within striking distance of the final playoff spot. Varlamov remained hot in shootouts this season as he improved to 7-0, allowing two goals on 21 attempts.
First Published March 11, 2012 12:00 am