Bruins remedy Capitals in all sides to maneuver on in playoffs

WASHINGTON — Moments after embracing former Boston captain Zdeno Chara within the handshake line, Patrice Bergeron acknowledged he hadn’t thought a lot about what was totally different about successful his first collection with the “C” on his chest.

For Bergeron and the Bruins, it was simply one other step ahead.

“We’re a staff the place it feels particular to win collectively, everybody chipping in and contributing,” he stated. “I’m simply comfortable we acquired the win and we completed it off and we will look ahead and transfer on to spherical two.”

They’re transferring on to face both the Pittsburgh Penguins or New York Islanders after steamrolling the Washington Capitals in 5 video games. Three went to additional time, together with Boston’s solely loss within the collection opener, however because the video games went on it was clear which staff was superior.

“Recreation by sport we acquired higher,” stated goaltender Tuukka Rask, who stopped 159 of 169 pictures. “We had everyone going, which was big. Everyone contributed, offensively, defensively. We did plenty of little issues proper. I believe that in all probability ended up being the distinction. We had been only a higher staff throughout.”

It did not was once that approach between the Bruins and Capitals. Washington gained 14 in a row towards Boston from 2014-19, however bowed out within the first spherical for the third consecutive 12 months since successful the Stanley Cup in 2018.

The Bruins, who got here inside one victory in Recreation 7 towards St. Louis from hoisting the Cup in 2019, have proven a capability to tweak and alter sufficient to stay a perennial championship contender. After letting Chara and Torey Krug go away in free company, Boston superior additional than both of them, regardless of accidents on protection that examined the group’s depth.

Credit score Bergeron for a lot of that. Not solely did he rating twice within the collection clincher, however offered the required management for a gaggle that appears far totally different from journeys to the ultimate in 2013 or 2019, not to mention Boston’s Cup staff in 2011.

“That is his first 12 months with the ‘C’ on (his jersey), so he needs to form of put his signature on this membership,” coach Bruce Cassidy stated. “I’m positive he is digging just a little bit deeper if that’s even potential for him. I believe he’s a man that reveals up each night time and provides it every part he’s acquired.”

NEXT TEAM UP

Cassidy stated the Bruins will “watch with curiosity” because the Penguins and Islanders claw out the rest of their East Division first-round collection. Due to all divisional play this postseason, there isn’t any thriller who Boston will face subsequent — simply when.

Pittsburgh and New York are tied at two video games apiece. The earliest the season can finish is Wednesday, so there’s time to kill.

“You play the hand you’re dealt,” Cassidy stated. “You at all times need to shut out collection as shortly as you possibly can. It simply takes away any stress and any chance of shedding, clearly, and guys get to relaxation up just a little bit, so I’m OK with it.”

INJURIES

One cause the day off might be good for Boston is the chance to get injured defensemen Jeremy Lauzon and Kevan Miller again sooner or later. Lauzon injured his proper hand in Recreation 1, Miller spent Friday night time within the hospital after a excessive hit from Washington’s Dmitry Orlov, and the Bruins counted on Jarred Tinordi to step in for the collection clincher.

That clearly wasn’t the plan when Krug left for St. Louis and Chara signed with Washington when the Bruins brass informed him he wasn’t assured an everyday position. Defenseman Steven Kampfer will not be obtainable, both, due to an arm harm, so Cassidy and his employees might should get inventive.

BEATING THE CAPS

After shedding Recreation 1 in additional time on a deflection objective, the Bruins made just a few changes to take over the collection. They started cracking the Capitals’ impartial zone stress and exploited a man-to-man defensive system.

Nowhere was that clearer than on Pastrnak’s highlight-reel objective in Recreation 5, when he minimize to the online unbothered and slid the puck previous goaltender Ilya Samsonov. It was a mix of movie research and talent that made the play occur.

“I used to be positively stunned,” Pastrnak stated. “I simply noticed a type of free lane to take it to the online. Tried it and it labored this time.”

And the Bruins made a concerted effort to leverage their talent towards an enormous, heavy opponent. They could not beat up the Capitals, however they beat them by dictating the model of sport that was performed.

“That’s what we talked about towards an enormous staff: getting inside, after which utilizing your pace to separate,” Cassidy stated. “They’ve acquired some lengthy D, however if you happen to get in your horse and are keen to assault and separate and use your 1-on-1 expertise, you’ll get just a few seems. We did, and we had been capable of end them.”

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Observe AP Hockey Author Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

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Extra AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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