It turned out better than most fans could have predicted late in the third period, but it still resulted in a Bruins 3-2 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals at TD Garden on Thursday night.
Both Tyler Seguin and Patrice Bergeron scored for the Bruins, but unfortunately for Boston, Matt Hendricks, Alexandre Semin and Brooks Laich also scored for the Capitals and the Bruins were sent off the ice, with neither a win nor a confirmed playoff spot.
After two periods of tedious hockey play where each team seemed to lack any sort of edge over the other, the third period exploded with excitement, and four goals spanned between both teams.
However, it wasn't that easy.
7:59 into the period, Bruins favorite scapegoat Dennis Wideman found a way past Thomas who only saw 23 total shots (not including the shootout), to put the Capitals on the board. Wideman was wide open in the slot and used a total screen to his advantage and netted his 11th goal of the season. Thomas noted that he didn't even see the puck at all during the shot.
"No. I didn’t see it at all," Thomas said. "I mean, a lot of times you don’t get a clear picture, you don’t really see it but you still see like something, a blur or something out of the corner of your eye, and I didn’t see anything on that one. It was just – I did feel it, it brushed off me here [right arm] and then brushed off my hip, too."
Just under two minutes later, the Capitals struck again when Marcus Johansson helped lead a two-on-one with Alex Ovechkin and put another one past the Bruins netminder, giving them a 2-0 lead with just over half the period to go.
While things looked a bit grim for the B's, who had already lost Adam McQuaid to a huge charge from Jason Chimera in the first period, they were injected with a new sense of excitement when, at 16:50, David Krejci redirected Chara's shot from the blueline and put it through with enough time to try it again.
And, unlike many times in the season when it seems too little too late, they did it again.
Andrew Ference score 1:54 later, and with 1:16 left to go in the game to tie it up and send it to overtime.
"There was half a period left, and our guys, you know, battled back," Bruins head coach Claude Julien said about the effort in the third period. "And if we could get one goal, again, that would certainly give us the energy that we needed, and we found that goal, and from there on in, we seemed to have a little bit more energy and excitement to our game. And again, for as tough a night as it was, it’s at least nice to see that when you’re down 2-0, you’re capable of coming back and at least salvaging a point."
Heading into overtime, neither team was able to capitalize in the extra frame and it went to the shootout where ultimately Brooks Laich was able to seal the two points for Washington.
The Bruins will travel to New York to play the Islanders on Saturday, and have just five more games left in the regular season. With only one point tonight, they did not clinch a playoff spot yet, but will have the opportunity to do so again on Saturday.