National Hockey League

Brouwer's late PP goal gives Caps 3-2 series edge

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Troy Brouwer's power-play score late in regulation lifted the Washington Capitals over Boston, 4-3, in Game 5 of this Eastern Conference quarterfinal set.

Alexander Semin, Jay Beagle and Mike Knuble also lit the lamp for the Capitals, who can close out the series at home on Sunday afternoon.

Braden Holtby stopped 34-of-37 shots as Washington stands on the brink of advancing to the second round for the third time in four seasons.

"It was an exciting game both ways. Every game has been tough with them, they play hard," said Capitals head coach Dale Hunter. "Neither team is going to quit, there's a lot of character there. The guys in here have some too and we showed it today."

Brad Marchand, Dennis Seidenberg and Johnny Boychuk tallied for the Bruins, who are in danger of being eliminated in the first round for the first time in four years.

Tim Thomas allowed all four scores on 32 shots.

Boston is one setback away from becoming the second straight Stanley Cup winner to be eliminated in the first round the following season.

The game winner came with Bruins forward Benoit Pouliot in the box for slashing, a call made with 2:50 left in regulation.

Brouwer streaked up the right wing thanks to a lead pass from John Carlson, and let go a wrister from the bottom of the right circle that zipped over Thomas' shoulder and inside the near post with 1:27 to play.

"He fooled me and beat me clean," Thomas said.

The B's went with an extra attacker for the final minute but failed to net an equalizer.

Boston hit two posts and one crossbar in the opening 10 minutes but failed to score, as did Washington.

After several close calls through the midway point of the second, the Caps broke the scoreless deadlock with 8:44 remaining, as Semin followed up a Dennis Wideman blast and slid the puck through bodies in the crease and into the net.

Beagle doubled the visitors' edge with 5:33 remaining, as his shot from the left circle changed direction off a Boston defender's stick and knuckled past Thomas' glove.

Seidenberg answered with 2:39 left on a wrister from the right circle, then 28 seconds later, Marchand managed to push a Boychuk shot through Holtby's legs from the right post.

Knuble's first of these playoffs gave Washington a 3-2 lead at the 3:21 mark of the third period, and on the following shift, Holtby came up with the save of the series so far -- doing the full splits to rob Tyler Seguin at the left post.

"I thought he had a good game the other day, and he's a bigger guy so he can match up well," Hunter said about why he kept Knuble in the lineup.

Boychuk evened things at 8:47, a shot from the left point on a power play.

Game Notes

Beagle's goal was his first career playoff point...Seidenberg's tally was the first for the Bruins in 84:09 of game action, since Rich Peverley's first- period marker in Game 4...Chicago, the 2010 Cup winner, lost a seven-game Western Conference quarterfinal to Vancouver.

04/21 23:59:04 ET

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