Caps even series with Bruins

Caps even series with Bruins
April 20, 2012, 2:17 am
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The Capitals promised to stay away from the all of the post-whistle scrums they fell prey to in Game 3.


They promised theyd make the adjustments necessary for their power play to work without Nicklas Backstrom.


And they promised their best-of-seven series against the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins was far from over.


Rookie goaltender Braden Holtby returned to the form he showed in Boston last weekend, stopping 44 of 45 shots to lead the Capitals to a 2-1 win over the Bruins Thursday night in front of a sellout crowd at the Verizon Center.

Marcus Johansson scored on the Capitals first shot of the game and Alex Semin netted a power-play goal late in the second period as the Capitals knotted the best-of-seven series at two wins apiece.

The series shifts to Boston for Game 5 on Saturday, with Game 6 scheduled for Sunday in Washington. All four games in the series have been decided by one goal.

The Capitals are 2-7 in their playoff history when a best-of-seven series is tied at 2-2.

The Capitals killed off a pivotal Bruins power play when Mike Knuble was whistled for holding Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk with 9:512 remaining in the third period. The Bruins, who entered the game 0-for-11 on the power play, failed to record a shot on goal on the man-advantage.

After getting dominated for most of the first period the Capitals found their legs in the second period and grabbed a 2-1 lead on Alex Semins power-play goal with 2:07 remaining in the second period.

The Caps went on their third power play of the night when Patrice Bergeron was caught hooking the stick of Brook Laich out of his hands. While on the man-advantage Semin took a pass from Keith Aucoin and snapped a rising wrist shot high over the glove of Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas for his second goal of the playoffs and 14th of his career.

Semin also set up Dennis Wideman with a no-look pass earlier in the period, but Widemans shot went off the mask of Thomas and over the net.

Capitals rookie goaltender Braden Holtby was outstanding in the second period, stopping all 18 shots he faced, including a pair of scoring chances by Bruins forward Tyler Seguin, who was topped four times in the opening 40 minutes.

Having spent the previous two days talking about the number of scuffles in Game 3, the two teams played a relatively civil first period with a slashing call against Bostons Rich Peverley the only penalty.

Playing without center Nicklas Backstrom, who was serving a one-game suspension for cross-checking Peverley at the conclusion of Game 3, the Capitals took a 1-0 lead just 1:22 into the game on their first shot of the game.

A neutral zone pileup involving Alex Ovechkin and Andrew Ference allowed Brooks Laich to break in on a 2-on-1 with Marcus Johansson. The second-year forward snapped a one-timer past Tim Thomas for his third career playoff goal.

The Bruins dominated the remainder of the period, outshooting the Capitals 14-3, and broke through against Braden Hotlby at the 13:12 mark when Peverley beat him between the pads for his second goal of the playoffs.
An offensive zone giveaway by Ovechkin led to a 3-on-1 breakout by the Bruins and Peverley waited out Holtby before snapping a shot off the inside of his right pad and into the net for his sixth playoff goal in 35 career games.