Zdeno Chara's slap shot with 1:53 left in regulation beat Braden Holtby and lifted the Bruins to a thrilling 4-3 win over the Capitals in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at the Verizon Center Monday night. The Bruins lead the series, 2-1, with Game 4 Thursday night in Washington before the series shifts back to Boston for Game 5 in Boston.
A fairly mild series in the first two games, the Bruins and Captials joined the Flyers and Penguins and the Rangers and Senators in turning up the intensity with on-ice brawls. It was an on-ice confrontation between Milan Lucic and Washington's Matt Hendricks and Karl Alzner that led to a 4-on-4 situation when Chara took a pass from Dennis Seidenberg and fired the game-winning goal, which deflected off the stick of Roman Hamrlik.
The Bruins fell behind when Alexander Semin fired a shot from the high slot that made its way through a screen and past Tim Thomas for a power play goal with four minutes left in the first.
The Bruins answered just 35 seconds into the second when Rich Peverley flipped a wrist shot from the left point that Braden Holtby gloved but could not control. The puck fell behind him and made its way into the net. But the tie was shortlived as 13 seconds later, Alex Ovechkin jumped on a bouncing puck down the right wing and fired a slap shot that went off the stick of Dennis Seidenberg and past Thomas to put the Capitals up, 2-1.
But the Bruins finally got the "dirty" goal that Claude Julien was looking for midway through the second. Greg Zanon fired a shot from the left point toward the front of the crease. Daniel Paille was camped in front of Holtby, got control of the puck and flipped a backhander into the open net at 9:38 of the second. With 2:23 left in the second, Thomas made a spectacular save on a Jay Beagle, who came down the slot and had a point blank chance
The Bruins finally got their first regulation lead in the series when Brian Rolston camped out in front of Holtby and took a rebound off a shot from Chris Kelly and shoved it into the Capitals net just 62 seconds into the third period. The Bruins appeared to headed for a 3-2 win when they killed off a Capitals power play with nine minutes left.
But with six minutes left, Nicklas Backstrom found Brooks Laich behind the Bruins defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara, sending Laich in for a breakaway. He didn't miss and tied the game on a backhander.
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