NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, March 8th
(All times eastern)
Washington Capitals (32-28-8) at Boston Bruins (35-25-7), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals will continue
their quest for the playoffs this afternoon, when they visit the Boston Bruins
for a matinee at TD Banknorth Garden.
The Capitals have 72 points on the year and are four behind Philadelphia for
the eighth and final postseason berth in the Eastern Conference. Washington is
also five points in back of Carolina for the Southeast Division lead.
Washington last made it to the NHL's second season in 2003 and is in the midst
of its longest postseason drought since failing to qualify for the playoffs in
the franchise's first eight years of existence.
Ovechkin is doing everything in his power to get the Caps back to the
playoffs, as he enters today's contest leading the NHL with 54 goals and 92
points. The Russian superstar is trying to become the league's first 60-goal
scorer since Pittsburgh teammates Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr recorded 69
and 62 goals, respectively, during the 1995-96 campaign.
The 22-year-old Ovechkin has a four-game point streak coming into today's
tests and has notched six goals and four assists during that run. He has
tallied five goals in his last two outings after posting his league-leading
third hat trick of the season in Monday's 10-2 blowout of Boston.
The Caps won their second straight game on Wednesday night, as Ovechkin scored
two goals to lead Washington to a 3-1 victory in Buffalo.
Olaf Kolzig picked up the win after stopping 25-of-26 shots for Washington,
which has also won four of its last five games. Nicklas Backstrom added a goal
and had an assist for the Capitals.
Washington is 15-14-5 as the visiting club this year, but has won two straight
and three of four on the road.
The Bruins, meanwhile, have dropped three in a row and, including Monday's
debacle in Washington, have been outscored 19-4 during the skid.
The recent losing streak has dropped Boston into the seventh seed in the East
and the Bruins are just one point ahead of No. 8 Philadelphia.
Boston's latest setback came at home Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Bryan McCabe had a goal and three assists and Nik Antropov scored twice to
lead the Leafs to an easy 8-2 win in Beantown.
Peter Schaefer and Phil Kessel scored for the Bruins. Tim Thomas let in five
goals on 23 shots before being pulled in favor of Alex Auld, who allowed three
scores on 17 shots.
The Bruins will try to salvage the finale of a three-game homestand at the
Garden today. Boston is 17-13-4 as the host this year and has lost six of nine
on home ice.
Boston and the Caps have split a pair of meetings this year and Washington
snapped a five-game losing streak against the Bruins in Monday's home tilt.
The Capitals have lost three straight in Beantown.
03/08 10:30:52 ET