Capitals beat Bruins 3-1 in possible playoff preview


11 April, 2017

The Washington Capitals were so dominant this season that they had nothing left to play for with two games left in the National Hockey League schedule. Boston is in the clubhouse with 94 points; the Bruins finished their regular season with Saturday's loss to the Capitals.

"Obviously we were not playing for any position or anything".

"I think we managed the game pretty well", says Caps coach Barry Trotz. We have another game tomorrow to do that, and then it's "Go' time".

"I just thought we were real professional today with our approach".

The two possible opponents for the Bruins are the Ottawa Senators and the Capitals. The Montreal Canadiens, winners of the Atlantic Division, will have home-ice advantage against the New York Rangers. But a win would have wrapped up the third seed and a first-round series against the Senators. The Maple Leafs were to host Pittsburgh on Saturday night and Columbus on Sunday.

EAST: The Toronto Maple Leafs filled the final vacant playoff spot by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 on Saturday night in dramatic fashion after losing goaltender Frederik Andersen to injury. Should Toronto secure at least one point on Sunday, it would face the Senators in the next round.

But who would the Bruins rather face?

Washington has already clinched home ice throughout the playoffs.

The Capitals have won four straight, 10 of their last 11 and are 11-1-1 in their last 13. Edmonton's Connor McDavid needs three points for 100 on the season with two games remaining.

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Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves to earn his 13th win of the season, and Kevin Shattenkirk supplied what would prove to be the game-winning goal late in the second period for Washington, which was merely seeking to keep playing well on Saturday.

Williams, who caused a goal to be disallowed because he was in the crease, followed 3:01 later to make it 3-1.

"Now we're scoreboard-watchers", Backes said.

Playing in his 500th career National Hockey League game, Marcus Johansson got the Caps started early, scoring to put Washington up 1-0 on its first shot on goal of the game. "They didn't get too much".

After taking a feed from Justin Williams, Johansson put a move on Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin and neatly tucked the puck behind him at 4:21 of the first. F Brad Marchand missed the second game of his two-game suspension for spearing Tampa Bay defenseman Jake Dotchin in the groin. Torey Krug, Boston's fastest defenseman, suffered a knee injury in the first period of that game, also hurting the attack.

While Bruins fans work themselves into a frenzy hoping to see the likes of college prospects Anders Bjork and Charlie McAvoy in a Boston sweater, one other college hockey alum/B's prospect, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, will be making his NHL debut on Saturday.

Cassidy thought while there was no intent, the hit should have been whistled for a penalty.

NOTES: C Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, signed recently by the Bruins, made his National Hockey League debut because Brad Marchand is suspended and Noel Acciari is injured.

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