WASHINGTON – The Capitals are for real. 

As the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series shifts to the nation’s capital tied at one game apiece, it’s clear that the Bruins’ competition is stiff. The Capitals have handcuffed Boston’s offense, played two great road games and made two fanbases forget that they’re doing it with an AHL goalie.



The Bruins' regulars stayed off the ice Sunday, as the team elected to rest up after playing overtime games Thursday and Saturday before Monday's Game 3 against the Capitals. 

At Sunday's media availability, coach Claude Julien said that Tuukka Rask, who has missed the first two games of the series with an abdomen/groin injury, will make the trip to the nation's capital. Adam McQuaid (upper-body) will not. 

Bruins fans should know this better than anybody: When the team defense is especially tight, the goalie’s work is a lot easier. 

So with no disrespect to Braden Holtby – after being thrown into the fire due to injuries to Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth answered the bell and made all the stops he’s had to – let’s calm down a bit. 



Bruins coach Claude Julien called out his team after a 2-1 loss in double-overtime that left the series with the Capitals knotted at a game apiece heading to Washington for Game 3 Monday night. 

Julien was not happy when his team won the draw early in the second overtime but lost the fight for the loose puck as Marcus Johansson outworked Johnny Boychuk and fed Nicklas Backstrom for the game-winner. He watched as the Capitals won battle after battle all game for the loose puck. 

After allowing the game-winning goal in a gut-wrenching 2-1 loss in double-overtime, Bruins netminder Tim Thomas tried to put a positive spin on heading to Washington for Game 3 Monday night with the series tied, 1-1. 

"We're playing a pretty good defensive game," Thomas said. "We need to find ways to generate more offense without giving up anything defensively. It's better than down 2-0 like last year. You have to take whatever positives you can in cases like this."

Nicklas Backstrom scored 2:56 into the second overtime to lift the Capitals to a 2-1 win over the Bruins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series Saturday at TD Garden. The series is tied, 1-1, and shifts to Washington for Game 3 Monday night. Tim Thomas stopped 37-of-38 shots before allowing the game-winner from nearly the identical spot on the ice that Chris Kelly won Game 1 in overtime. Braden Holtby stopped 43-of-44 Bruins shots for his first NHL playoff win.

All you need to do is watch a Bruins game to know that defenseman Andrew Ference is the ultimate team player. 



Bruins center David Krejci did not practice Friday, a day after he was hit in the back with a pane of glass following Chris Kelly's game-winning goal in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Krejci said he was not tested for a concussion, and that he will play in Game 2 Saturday despite some neck pain. 

"I've got a little sore neck, but other than that I'm good and I'll play tomorrow," he said.

Mark it down. The Bruins will repeat as Stanley Cup champs.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

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If you need a scouting report on Chris Kelly, you probably shouldn’t ask Chris Kelly