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Zdeno Chara give Bruins Game 3 winner

04.16.12 at 10:23 pm ET

WASHINGTON — In a higher-scoring and more emotional game than the Bruins and Capitals have been used to this series, Zdeno Chara was the hero Monday night as the B’s took Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals with a 4-3 victory. The Bruins now hold a 2-1 series lead.

With the game knotted at three, Chara fired a shot from the point that went off of Washington defenseman Roman Hamrlik’s stick and past Braden Holtby with 1:53 remaining. It was Chara’s first goal of the playoffs. The Bruins’ four goals on Monday doubled their total from the series’ first two games.

The Capitals took a 1-0 lead when Alexander Semin scored with Chara in the box. The penalty, a roughing call on the captain, was Chara’s third minor penalty in three games this series.

Rich Peverley tied it early in the second period when he beat Holtby from the left circle, but Alexander Ovechkin made it 2-1 just 13 seconds later. Daniel Paille tied it 9:38 into the second, and the B’s took their first lead of the series when Brian Rolston scored 1:02 into the third. A Brooks Laich breakaway goal pulled the Capitals even with six minutes remaining in regulation, sending the Verizon Center crowd into a frenzy.

The series will resume Thursday at Verizon Center.


– Holtby showed that he’ll allow the goals if you can get the opportunities. Paille’s goal came because he was he was parked out in front of the net and willing to puck up a rebound, while Rolston’s goal came when the third-liner picked up a loose puck in front. Peverley’s goal was probably the softest of the three that Holtby allowed, and Bruins players began shooting at Holtby’s glove side more following the tally.

One thing to watch: Four of the Bruins’ six goals this series have come from their bottom-six forwards. That’s good production for the third and fourth lines, but a bad sign for the offense as a whole.

– The Bruins got their first lead of the series on Rolston’s goal.

– This series might be getting some teeth to it after all. Milan Lucic and Laich were tangled up prior to a second-period face-off, and Lucic eventually threw Laich down before the puck could be dropped. There were was also some rough stuff at the end of the first period and early in the third, and things got out of hand with 2:26 left in the third. Lucic took a cross-check from Dennis Wideman after a Holtby save, and after Lucic got tangled up with Matt Hendricks, Karl Alzner jumped in.


– The Chara-Seidenberg pairing got caught napping on the Capitals’ third goal. Laich took a long pass from Nicklas Backstrom to give the winger a breakaway and tie the game.

Johnny Boychuk was on the ice for the first four goals against this series. He was in no-man’s land on Semin’s goal, the third of four goals against he’s been on the ice for. He almost allowed a fifth goal when he lost his man in front late in the second period. Jay Beagle took a feed from behind the net with just over 2:20 remaining in the period, but Thomas stopped him on what was probably No. 30’s biggest save of the night.

In order for the Bruins to go with the Chara-Seidenberg pairing in the playoffs, they need a strong second pairing in Boychuk and Andrew Ference. Boychuk made up for his iffy play late, as he blocked a Mike Green shot with the Capitals on the power play with under nine minutes to play. The play saved what would have been an easy game-tying goal.

Claude Julien mixed the lines up a bit by switching Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. That meant that Bergeron centered Lucic and Peverley, while Krejci centered Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand. The move didn’t look like it necessarily paid off and it’s tough to make sense of it. Bergeron and Lucic haven’t had chemistry when they’ve played together in the past, while Bergeron’s defense has often made up for what Seguin lacks in his own zone.

The Bruins’ top two lines still have yet to score a goal this series. Peverley’s goal came during 4-on-4 play while he was out with Chris Kelly.

– Marchand got hit where it hurt (literally) when Jason Chimera speared him in the crotch during a scrum early in the third period. Chimera was given a hooking minor, while Marchand stayed in the game.

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