NHL Game Summary - Washington at Boston
(Thursday, April 1st)
Final Score: Washington 3, Boston 3
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Jeff Halpern's power-play goal midway through the third period enabled the Washington Capitals to skate to a 3-3 tie with the Boston Bruins at the FleetCenter.
Brendan Witt and Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre also scored for the Capitals, while Kip Miller set up a pair of goals. Olaf Kolzig made 35 saves for Washington, which earned a point for just the fourth time in its last 12 games (2-8-2).
Nick Boynton, Glen Murray and Dan McGillis scored for the Bruins, who are unbeaten in their last three (2-0-1) and are 9-2-2 in their last 13. Andrew Raycroft finished with 24 saves.
The Bruins still lead the Northeast Division with 102 points, two more than Ottawa and three ahead of Toronto. All three teams have two games remaining. Boston, however, can no longer earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference, as the tie and a win by Tampa Bay gave the Lightning home-ice advantage throughout the conference playoffs.
"We're not happy. We let an opportunity slip away," said Bruins head coach Mike Sullivan. "It certainly wasn't the effort we were looking for tonight. We had an opportunity to get two points and we were fortunate to get one."
Bruins captain Joe Thornton was also injured in the third period when he took a hard fall to the ice while driving to the net. The exact nature of the injury was not disclosed.
"He has an upper body injury. I don't [the severity]," said Sullivan.
Washington scored the tying goal on a power play with 8:51 left in the third period. Miller sent a pass from the right corner to the center point for Josef Boumedienne, who fired a shot toward the net. Halpern, in front to create a screen, tipped the puck past Raycroft for his 17th goal of the season.
The Bruins had scored twice in a span of 1:24 early in the third to open a 3-2 lead.
Murray cashed in a power play at the 5:23 mark to tie it. Thornton, who drew a hooking penalty to set up the man-advantage, made a brilliant pass from the right boards to the left side of the crease for Murray, who quickly snapped a shot into the empty side of the cage for his 31st goal.
Thornton appeared to suffer his injury while drawing the penalty and did not play again after the power play.
"We really don't know much yet, but he's our best player and we can't really have him out of the lineup," said Boston's Sergei Samsonov.
McGillis then scored his fifth goal at 6:47, firing a shot from the left boards that appeared to deflect off a skate in the crease before going past Kolzig.
Kolzig stopped 11 shots in the third period, then turned aside four in the extra period. He made a big save on a shot from the slot by Michael Nylander in the final minute of overtime to keep the game tied.
Raycroft needed to make just three saves in the extra session.
After a scoreless first period, the Bruins grabbed a 1-0 lead on a power play at 5:52 of the second. McGillis had the puck at the left point and fed a cross-ice pass to Boynton, who fired a shot home from the right point for his sixth goal.
Washington tied it just under three minutes later on Witt's second goal of the season. Craig Johnson carried the puck into the Boston zone along the right wing and sent a pass toward the left wing for a streaking Witt, who moved into the left circle and snapped a high wrister over Raycroft's glove.
The Capitals then took the lead with 7:07 left in the second. Boston's Brian Rolston fanned a clearing pass and Miller picked it off in the right circle. Grand-Pierre then gained control and beat Raycroft with a shot from just below the right circle for his third goal.
Boston played in its 30th overtime game of the season and is 8-7-15 in those contests...The Bruins finished 2-for-8 on the power play, while the Capitals were 1-for-2 with the extra skater...Washington is 20-0-3 when leading after two periods this season...Raycroft received Boston's Seventh Player Award before the game, an honor voted by the fans for exceeding expectations.
04/02 00:18:36 ET