Tim Thomas and the No. 2 seeded Boston Bruins host Alex Ovechkin and the No. 7 seeded Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at 7:30 p.m. EST on Thursday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA. Below is a live blog with score updates and analysis for Thursday night's game.
END OF THIRD PERIOD: The Bruins picked up a total of three shots in the third period while giving up nine to the Capitals and still managed to stay in the game. However, if they plan on taking Game 1, they will have to do it in extra time. Unlike last night's playoff games where goals were plenty, this game will come down to just a single goal behind an otherwise flawless goaltender. Tim Thomas has the experience, but Braden Holtby seems to be in the zone tonight as well.
14:21 OF THIRD PERIOD: After allowing just two shots through to Thomas in the second period, the Bruins have come out in the third and have just one shot on Holtby in the final frame. It's still scoreless though the Capitals have had a number of chances on Thomas, including some of them that had to be saved by the Bruins defensemen.
END OF SECOND PERIOD: It's not unusual to go into the third period of a playoff game, tied 0-0. What IS unusual is when you finish the second period, giving up only two shots on net, while taking 17 of your own, and not scoring. The B's managed to make Braden Holtby look just less than a seasoned Vezina winner peppering him with shots, but not finding a way past him. Meanwhile, Tim Thomas has had to find his own way to maintain focus, only facing seven shots through two periods. No single player has more than one shot on goal for Washington.
12:18 SECOND PERIOD: Bruins really stepping it up and the game picked up some energy. It started with David Krejci giving a little push to Washington netminder Braden Holtby. John Carlson of Washington took offense and the shoving ensued. They both went for matching roughing penalties, making it 4-on-4 hockey. Marcus Johansson made it 4-on-3 after he was called for tripping.
8:49 SECOND PERIOD: Bruins are now outshooting the Capitals 19-5 in the game, and have had a number of chances on Washington goaltender Braden Holtby, but haven't found the back of the net yet. While the opportunities have been there, even more so, the hits have been there, and the prime target seems to be Alex Ovechkin. Guess that's what happens when you're the best player on your team. You get noticed.
END OF FIRST PERIOD: Besides the hits and the otherwise aggressive play, neither team was able to come up with the most important advantage--the goal in the back of the net. However, they had a chance at the end of the first twenty minutes of play, after David Krejci fell victim to a high stick, causing him to bleed. That resulted in a four-minute double minor penalty with 1:33 left to go in the period. The Bruins were unable to capitalize on it, but will have 2:27 in the second frame to try and convert on the power play.
1ST PERIOD 15:34: Sorry for the lack of updates. The internet has been really spotty. That being said, the Bruins have not been. As you would imagine, things got chippy rather quickly. Just 41 seconds into the game and Brad Marchand was pushing and shoving. Bruins have the shot advantage, 9-4 but the game is still scoreless.
PREGAME: Here are some facts to get you amped up for tonight's game. Of the Bruins current roster, only Andrew Ference and Benoit Pouliot have faced the Capitals in a playoff series. Ference was with Pittsburgh and Pouliot with Montreal. Also, this is the third time these two teams have faced each other in a playoff series. And in each of the previous two meetings, the winner of the series has gone on to play in the Stanley Cup Final. Who's ready for some hockey?
For everything Bruins related, check out Stanley Cup Of Chowder. For more news, analysis, and discussion on Capitals hockey, head to Japers' Rink. You can also head over to the SB Nation NHL hub page for more on hockey news as the playoffs begin.