So much for this Bruins – Capitals series being nothing but overtime games.
After going to OT for three straight contests, the Bruins made it clear that they had control of Game 4 over the Capitals. Granted, the Capitals scratched and clawed to keep it close for a while.
With this 4-1 Game 4 win, the Bruins pushed the Capitals to the brink of elimination with a 3-1 series lead. The Caps don’t have much time to find answers, and that’s not great, because this contest inspires a lot of questions.
Miller hospitalized by Orlov hit
Initially, Dmitry Orlov‘s late hit on Kevan Miller drew a major penalty. After a review process, that Orlov major was rescinded. Instead, the Bruins received a two-minute roughing penalty, while the Capitals were whistled for a roughing double-minor following the ensuing hostilities.
Was that the right call? Judge for yourself:
Miller didn’t just leave Bruins – Capitals Game 4, he was hospitalized:
UPDATE: Kevan Miller will not return. He was transported to the hospital for scans and further evaluation.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 22, 2021
The Bruins had been dominating play without scoring a goal. For more than 18 minutes in Game 4, the Bruins kept the Capitals without a shot on goal, while Boston generated 12. It wasn’t until that power-play opportunity that Boston could break through.
Brad Marchand ended up putting the Bruins up 1-0.
Bruins gain some breathing room vs. Capitals in Game 4, take 3-1 series lead
Early in the third period of Game 4, the Bruins created some distance ahead of the Capitals. David Pastrnak scored a potential confidence-builder on the power play, then Charlie Coyle made it 3-0 on a funky rebound.
After that Pastrnak PPG, the Bruins were 2-for-4 on the PP, while the Capitals were 0-for-4. That eventually changed, as Alex Ovechkin scored his second power-play goal of the series to break Washington’s special teams slump. Ovechkin now boasts 71 career playoff goals.
Ultimately, the Capitals finished 1-for-7 on the power play, while the Bruins went 3-for-5 in Game 4. Considering Washington’s struggles to get anything going 5-on-5, that has to change.
Bruins in the driver’s seat
While the Capitals gained some life when they finally scored in Game 4, the Bruins didn’t really let up. They carried a lot of the play on Friday, forcing Ilya Samsonov to make some tough saves even when it was 3-1.
That pressure eventually paid off even more, as Matt Grzelcyk scored a booming PPG.
If Boston takes care of business in Game 5, they could gain some valuable rest.
That said, this Washington team has responded to challenges plenty of times before, and cannot be disregarded.
Backstrom on the message after #ALLCAPS loss:
"Tough situation. Tough spot. But I mean I think something we've been through before and I mean I feel like we've been down like this before. I think it's gonna take one shift at a time… we need to regroup here and go from there."
— Sammi Silber (@sammisilber) May 22, 2021
It just looks like it could be quite the mountain to climb against a Bruins team that can beat you in a number of ways.
CAPITALS – BRUINS FIRST ROUND PLAYOFF SERIES SCHEDULE
Game 1: Capitals 3, Bruins 2 (OT)
Game 2: Bruins 4, Capitals 3 (OT)
Game 3: Bruins 3, Capitals 2 (2 OT)
Friday, May 21: Bruins 4, Capitals 1.
Sunday, May 23: Bruins at Capitals, 7 p.m. ET (USA Network)
*Tuesday, May 25: Capitals at Bruins TBD
*Thursday, May 27: Bruins at Capitals TBD