Death, taxes, overtime in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This time, it went in favor of the Bruins, and they needed it; Capitals goalie Craig Anderson made 37 consecutive saves before Taylor Hall tied the game late, and then Brad Marchand won it just 39 seconds into overtime. It knotted the series at 1-1 with the 4-3 victory for the Bruins.
“I think the guys that have been here understood the urgency of this game,” said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “I thought we were the better team tonight. Everyone came to play.”
It wasn’t Marchand’s strongest game before he eventually won it, and after the game he credited captain and linemate Patrice Bergeron for “reeling” him back in following rough penalties.
“(Matt Grzelcyk) made a great play to get it over and it went in,” Marchand said of his goal. “It’s a good feeling going back (to Boston) 1-1.”
Much like in Game 1, Jake DeBrusk opened the offense. He put the Bruins ahead 1-0, before T.J. Oshie tapped in an Alex Ovechkin shot on the power play to make it 1-1.
That became a theme later on; though that was the Capitals lone man-advantage tally, the Bruins had to kill two consecutive power plays in the third, and Garnet Hathaway scored his second goal of the night in the moments after, which gave Washington a 3-2 lead.
[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2021 First Round Schedule, TV Info]
For much of the third period, which the Capitals opened with a 9-0 shots advantage, the Bruins looked jittery. Kevan Miller‘s bad pinch led to the Hathway goal, and they struggled to get goals on net.
In particular, Marchand had a rough game. He looked rattled numerous times and took two penalties in the first two periods.
He more than made up for it with a snipe through Anderson less than a minute into overtime.
Before that, though, Taylor’s version of the Boston Bruins made overtime possible.
Hall poked the puck past Anderson in a scrum in front of the crease with 4:49 left in the third, scoring his first playoff goal as a member of the Bruins. Momentum seemed to shift after that.
The Bruins took eight of the next nine shots of the period, and to overtime it went for the second consecutive game.
Marchand took a pass from Grzelcyk above the left circle and didn’t hesitate before ripping the shot, his first goal of the playoffs.
“There’s way, way more good than bad,” Cassidy said about Marchand’s game. “He dragged us into the fight.”
Hall took a game-high seven shots — tied with fellow deadline acquisition Anthony Mantha with Washington — including his game-tying tally. He had a stellar finish to the season for the Bruins, scoring two goals in his last regular season game.
Heading home for their first postseason game at TD Garden, the Bruins did what they needed to do taking one game on the road. Despite being the lower seed, the Bruins have been universally considered the favorite to win it.
A lower seed can’t take a serious without at least a road win, though, and even though they didn’t play their best hockey, they return home in a tie series.
Marisa Ingemi is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi.