It wasn’t a blown four-goal lead, but it was another lead that disappeared in the third period.
The Bruins surrendered a goal with 58 seconds left, erasing a one-goal advantage and forcing overtime — and ultimately a shootout — against the Capitals. And the B’s shootout woes continued in a 3-2 loss. The Bruins scored just once in the shootout before the Capitals won it with a second strike in the fifth round.
Washington has won 15 of its past 16 against the Bruins — the B’s defeated the Capitals last time they played in February — and the Bruins have not won the matchup at home since March 6, 2014, a 3-0 win.
Washington outshot the Bruins throughout the contest, but Jaroslav Halak stood tall, especially during the second period where he stopped an extended possession that led to a flurry in front, and then again in overtime with several point-blank looks.
After the disastrous blown four-goal lead against the Florida Panthers earlier in the week, the Bruins played a more complete game against the Leafs — especially late — on Friday night, and handled the back-to-back situation with a tight defensive effort against the highest scoring team in the league.
Before Friday, when the Capitals fell to Montreal, they hadn’t lost in regulation since October 14, nor had a losing streak since losing three in a row in early October, with two of them overtime losses.
The Bruins jumped ahead early Saturday.
Charlie Coyle, in the same spot where he tallied for the Bruins in Toronto the night before, gave them their first lead of the night against the Capitals. Just under the hashmarks, Coyle took a nifty pass from Danton Heinen in the corner and put it past Braden Holtby to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead 11:32 into the game.
The Capitals quickly answered on a deflected puck three minutes later. John Carlson — who entered the game with an astounding 23 assists already — put the puck toward net and it was tipped by Travis Boyd then hit off of Urho Vaakanainen to knot things up.
Despite getting vastly outshot in the second, the Bruins went back ahead.
With 3:30 left in the middle frame, David Pastrnak stripped the puck along the wall, passed on an open shot, then picked up a rebound off the end boards from a Charlie McAvoy blast and slipped it past Holtby to re-establish a one-goal lead.
The Capitals were the aggressors in the third, outshooting the Bruins again but not by as wide of a margin as 18-9 in the first or 12-6 in the second. The Caps picked up the physical pace as well, but the Bruins matched that effort and held their own.
Until TJ Oshie tied things up with 58.6 seconds left. The Caps winger snuck below the right circle and slapped in Washington’s 38th shot of the game for a goal to make it tied once again, 2-2.
Following an energetic overtime, Coyle scored on the Bruins first shootout attempt and Niklas Backstrom tied it in the third round, giving Brad Marchand a chance. He didn’t bury it, sending it to the fourth round. Halak stoned Alex Ovechkin before David Krejci missed, and then Chris Wagner couldn’t find the back of the net after Jakub Vrana scored the Caps’ shootout-winner.
The Bruins head to New Jersey on Tuesday to face the Devils, before returning for two at home later in the week.