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Sunday, March 2, 2014

We're Still Waiting for the Real Bruins to Stand Up

After losing in overtime to Buffalo on Wednesday (I mean really), you had to figure that the Bruins would bounce back in their first game back at TD Garden after the Olympic break. Turns out, Boston (37-17-5) played even worse as they lost 4-2 to Washington (29-23-9) this afternoon.

You'll never win by allowing a pair of power play goals to Alex Ovechkin or letting the Capitals open up a 3-0 lead midway through the game but that's the impossible path that the B's chose for today. Ovi hammered in a one-timer at 18:39 of the first period and made it 2-0 with a similar strike at 2:24 of the second period. Ho hum, he leads the NHL with 43 goals, no big deal.

You knew it wasn't Boston's day when Johnny Boychuk coughed up the puck to Joel Ward who skated in alone on Tuukka Rask and scored at 10:13. At that point, the Bruins finally woke up before they suffered further embarrassment. Patrice Bergeron started the ill-fated comeback attempt with a power play goal of his own, 41 seconds after Ward's crushing tally. It was Bergeron's 17th goal of the season from Dougie Hamilton and Reilly Smith.

The fourth line came through with a goal as Shawn Thornton threw it to Gregory Campbell for a redirect but the puck went flying past Braden Holtby (36 saves) off his defenseman Mike Green. Thornton's fifth goal of the season came at 17:32 from Daniel Paille and Campbell.

One last fatal mistake by a Bruins defenseman cost them as Torey Krug fell down, leading to a breakaway and goal for Eric Fehr at 10:53 in the third. In a weird scheduling quirk, these teams meet again in Boston on Thursday.

Before then, Boston travels to New York to face the Rangers (33-25-3) tomorrow night (7, NBCSN) then hosts the lowly Panthers on Tuesday. The B's need points and fast before the Atlantic Division becomes a race again.

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