The Bruins had the momentum on their side for much of the second part of the game, but ended up taking a 4-3 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.
It was geared up to be an exciting end to the game. Both teams fought back at various points during the game, and, with three minutes left to go in the third period, the game was tied 3-3.
But then with a quick flick of the wrist and a hand in the air, the Bruins took a penalty and Benoit Pouliot sat in the penalty box looking from the outside in at the result of his slashing penalty.
As he sat there, 1:20 later, the Capitals were able to convert with the extra-man, courtesy of Troy Brouwer, sending all the momentum the Bruins had out the window on a call that has been deemed "very weak" by Bruins head coach Claude Julien.
With the penalty call and the goal coming late, the Bruins didn't have much time to come back after, but they had more chances before that as they proved in the second period.
After the first period was held scoreless, the B's were able to come back in the second and dominate the period like they have done in the past. Though they let up two goals early on, they came back with less than three minutes to go in the middle frame to score two goals of their own within 28 seconds of each other, courtesy of Dennis Seidenberg and Brad Marchand.
That ended the second period and the Bruins left the ice on a high note. However, the Capitals were the ones that struck first in the third period, as Mike Knuble put in his first goal of the playoffs past Thomas to give them the 3-2 lead. That goal came just seconds after Bruins defenseman Joe Corvo hit the ice after taking a shot to his right leg and not getting a stop in play. He hobbled around on his skates in obvious pain, and with essentially one man down, Knuble was able to capitalize.
"Yeah, I’ll take full responsibility for that third goal [from Washington]," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said. "The rebound came up pretty hot and I tried to get my stick on top of [Mike Knuble’s] but he got just enough – we’re both right-handed, both swinging for it he got it so it’s my bad."
However, Johnny Boychuk answered and came into the scene and rocketed one past Holtby on the power play to tie it with more than half the period to go. The momentum from that goal seemed to carry into the final minutes of the game until the slashing penalty took it's toll.
"The last goal he fooled me and beat me clean," Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas said. "He’s coming down with a lot of speed and he shot and I read that the shot was going lower. And by the time I even realized that the shot was going that high, I didn’t even have time to raise my hand."
While many of the players visually looked displeased by the call, none of them could comment on whether they thought it was the right call, and instead just retorted with "we have to come out and play tomorrow."
Tomorrow's game is less than 24 hours away and will be played at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. at 3 p.m.