Capitals-Bruins Game 5 Scoring Chances

The Washington Capitals are one win away from pulling off an upset that not many predicted after defeating the Bruins 4-3 in game 5 earlier today. Just about all of their success in this series has been attributed to goaltender Braden Holtby, who has been absolutely phenomenal with a .946 save percentage. However, one thing that has been slightly overlooked is the defensive play of the Capitals as they have been able to limit the Bruins scoring chances.

They’ve been giving up a lot of shots but they’ve been forcing the Bruins to settle for soft wristers from the point with no traffic in front countless times. Washington has also done a good job of clogging up the neutral zone and not allowing the Bruins to genera much momentum at even strength. That has been the story for games 1-4, but today’s game was slightly different.

The Capitals had one of their better offensive performances today with four goals and 16 scoring chances but their defense unraveled a bit once they took a 2-0 lead and Holtby had to do his best to prevent Boston from taking the lead. He kept them in it long enough for the Caps to draw a penalty which led to Tim Thomas giving up a soft goal that ended up being the game winner.

Washington now has Boston on the ropes but they had a bit of luck on their side with this win today and will need to play a lot better than they did in the final 25 minutes. We will breakdown the rest of this game after the jump.

Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 6 7 5 4 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0
2 7 8 7 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 3 7 3 6 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Totals 16 22 15 18 1 1 0 0 0 3 0 0

Washington’s chances are in red, Boston’s are in black

The Caps actually had a 13-7 chance advantage over the Bruins when they took a 2-0 lead, but then they just collapsed and surrendered six consecutive scoring chances including two goals. Holtby gave up a relatively soft goal to Johnny Boychuk in the third period but his overall play in that period was terrific. Boston was swarming the Caps for most of that period and were finally crashing the net effectively, but Holtby managed to stand his ground.

This loss really stings for the Bruins because they had plenty of chances to take the lead, but couldn’t capitalize on any of them and Benoit Pouliot ended up taking a penalty which ruined just about everything for them. To make things worse, Tim Thomas gave up an awful game winning goal to Troy Brouwer and the B’s are now on the brink of elimination. This is a very discouraging loss for Boston but they did not play a bad game and lost because of a few unlucky bounces and shoddy goaltending. The Bruins could definitely push this to seven games if they play like they did in the third period.

Individual Scoring Chances

Capitals

# Player EV PP SH
4 John Erskine 10:21 5 4 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
6 Dennis Wideman 12:07 4 7 3:23 1 1 2:26 0 2
8 Alex Ovechkin 12:47 6 6 2:47 1 1 0:00 0 0
19 Nicklas Backstrom 17:22 7 8 2:14 1 0 0:57 0 0
20 Troy Brouwer 10:58 0 4 0:36 0 0 1:59 0 2
21 Brooks Laich 11:46 2 5 1:36 0 1 2:22 0 1
22 Mike Knuble 8:31 4 2 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
23 Keith Aucoin 19:00 4 3 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
25 Jason Chimera 13:59 3 3 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
26 Matt Hendricks 12:41 2 3 0:00 0 0 2:09 0 2
27 Karl Alzner 21:20 6 7 0:00 0 0 3:17 0 2
28 Alexander Semin 15:24 3 7 3:18 1 1 0:00 0 0
42 Joel Ward 9:32 5 4 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
44 Roman Hamrlik 18:29 5 5 0:00 0 0 0:57 0 0
52 Mike Green 19:05 5 10 0:00 0 0 2:01 0 1
70 Braden Holtby 51:19 15 18 3:23 1 1 5:18 0 3
74 John Carlson 21:33 5 3 1:37 0 0 1:55 0 1
83 Jay Beagle 13:50 2 2 0:00 0 0 1:53 0 1
90 Marcus Johansson 14:11 6 6 0:44 0 1 1:16 0 0

Best EV Forward: Mike Knuble +2

Worst EV Forward: Alex Semin & Troy Brouwer -4

Best EV Defenseman: John Carlson +2

Worst EV Defenseman: Mike Green -5

Two of the Washington goal scorers ended up being their two worst players at even strength. Semin and Backstrom have been two of Washington’s better players this series but these two were getting hammered in their own zone in today’s game. Semin has actually been surprisingly great defensively in the first four games but that definitely wasn’t the case here. Although, a lot of Washington’s top-six players were on-ice for a lot of chances in this game.

To make up for it, some of the guys in their bottom-six were producing, the most notable one being Mike Knuble who scored his first goal of the series. Ward and Aucoin were also very solid in their limited minutes. 

John Carlson was a straight-up champ today. He played a lot of his minutes against Chara, Krejci and Lucic and was on ice for only three scoring chances, the fewest among Washington defensemen. Add in the fact that he started 10 of his shifts in the defensive zone, and he takes home the “Statistical Star of the Game” for me. 

The statistical “goat” of the game could probably go to Mike Green for being on ice for 10 Bruins scoring chances but Dennis Wideman is a very close second.

Bruins

# Player EV PP SH
6 Greg Zanon 12:47 4 5 0:00 0 0 :52 1 0
11 Gregory Campbell 11:52 1 2 0:00 0 0 1:11 1 0
12 Brian Rolston 13:28 4 5 1:53 0 0 0:00 0 0
14 Joe Corvo 9:13 2 3 1:34 0 0 0:00 0 0
17 Milan Lucic 19:12 7 6 3:47 3 0 0:00 0 0
19 Tyler Seguin 19:16 8 6 2:33 1 0 0:00 0 0
20 Daniel Paille 9:54 0 2 0:00 0 0 1:29 1 0
21 Andrew Ference 20:09 3 4 0:00 0 0 1:37 0 1
22 Shawn Thornton 6:07 0 1 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
23 Chris Kelly 15:47 6 6 0:00 0 0 :58 0 0
30 Tim Thomas 2:17 17 15 5:18 3 0 3:23 1 1
33 Zdeno Chara 27:03 10 7 3:25 3 0 :54 0 0
37 Patrice Bergeron 12:55 4 1 2:26 2 0 :46 0 1
44 Dennis Seidenberg 26:53 13 7 1:53 0 0 1:46 1 0
46 David Krejci 21:26 8 4 3:25 3 0 :28 0 0
49 Rich Peverley 17:50 5 5 3:25 3 0 :46 0 0
55 Johnny Boychuk 20:48 3 3 :19 0 0 1:37 0 1
63 Brad Marchand 16:54 8 3 :19 0 0 :28 0 0
67 Benoit Pouliot 12:05 4 3 1:31 0 0 0:00 0 0

Best EV Forward: Brad Marchand +5

Worst EV Forward: Daniel Paille -2

Best EV Defenseman: Dennis Seidenberg +6

Worst EV Defenseman: Joe Corvo, Greg Zanon & Andrew Ference

Marchand’s contributions haven’t been showing up on the scoresheet, but he’s been one of Boston’s best forwards during this series and he was fantastic in today’s game. Some other other top forwards for Boston haven’t been showing up (Krejci & Lucic being the biggest offenders) but they were very solid today at creating offense.

Seguin has been held pointless this series and he’s been under some harsh criticism from the media for “not showing up” but that hasn’t been the case at all. He has been Boston’s best forward at creating chances, the problem is that none of them are going in. It doesn’t matter what line he’s playing on (he was bumped to the third line today), Seguin has been an effective player this series but Holtby and the goal posts have been getting the better of him.

The bottom-six of Boston has been one of their stronger points, specifically their fourth line, but they didn’t have a good game today. Shawn Thornton got a lot of credit for “waking up the Bruins” when he delivered a strong hit on Matt Hendricks in the 2nd period but nothing else he did was too beneficial. He was also on ice for the Knuble goal.

On defense, it was Chara & Seidenberg running the show as they seemed to be involved with just about every play, whether it was positive or negative. Seidenberg had some trouble containing Ovechkin’s line but he made up for it with a ridiculous performance offensively.

Boston’s depth on the back-end is a bit of a problem as no other defenseman outside of Chara & Seidenberg played that well. Corvo & Zanon were doing okay with protected minutes for most of the series, but the Capitals managed to expose them a few times tonight.

Head-to-Head at five-on-five

  • I said earlier that Chara & Seidenberg had trouble defending the Ovechkin line but they ended up winning that battle overall. Corvo & Zanon did get exposed a few times, though as the Caps top line took advantage of every opportunity they had against those two.
  • The only matchups that Wideman & Erksine won were against Boston’s fourth line and bottom defense pairing.
Team Period Time Note WSH BOS
EAS 1 16:46 Chara 6 21 27 70 83 17 30 33 37 46 49 4v5
WSH 1 15:14 Ovechkin 8 19 27 52 70 90 12 14 17 19 30 44 5v5
WSH 1 15:11 Johansson 8 19 27 52 70 90 12 14 17 19 30 44 5v5
EAS 1 13:54 Pouliot 19 25 27 28 52 70 19 23 30 33 44 67 5v5
WSH 1 11:58 Johansson 8 21 27 70 74 90 12 17 30 33 44 46 5v5
EAS 1 10:21 Bergeron 4 6 19 25 28 70 21 30 37 49 55 63 5v5
WSH 1 8:53 Ovechkin 8 19 27 70 74 23 30 33 44 49 4v4
WSH 1 7:45 Wideman 6 8 19 28 70 21 30 37 55 4v3
EAS 1 6:43 Paille 6 8 21 28 70 90 6 11 20 30 44 5v4
EAS 1 4:54 Seguin 20 26 27 52 70 83 14 19 21 30 37 63 5v5
EAS 1 3:20 Lucic 6 20 26 52 70 17 30 33 37 46 49 4v5
WSH 1 1:21 Ovechkin 4 8 21 42 44 70 6 23 30 44 49 63 5v5
EAS 1 1:10 Marchand 6 8 21 42 52 70 6 23 30 44 49 63 5v5
EAS 2 16:51 Rolston 22 23 42 44 52 70 6 12 14 30 46 67 5v5
EAS 2 16:15 Marchand 6 8 21 52 70 90 12 30 33 37 44 63 5v5
EAS 2 13:09 1Krecji 8 21 27 70 74 17 30 33 44 46 4v4
WSH 2 12:07 Erskine 4 6 19 28 70 90 12 17 21 30 46 55 5v5
WSH 2 11:00 Ward 22 23 42 44 52 70 6 19 23 30 33 67 5v5
WSH 2 10:44 Hamrlik 22 23 42 44 52 70 6 19 23 30 33 67 5v5
WSH 2 8:44 Semin – GOAL 4 6 19 28 70 90 6 11 14 20 30 49 5v5
WSH 2 7:05 Ward 22 23 27 42 70 74 30 33 37 44 49 63 5v5
WSH 2 6:53 Semin 19 27 28 70 74 90 19 21 23 30 55 67 5v5
WSH 2 5:34 Beagle – GOAL 25 26 44 52 70 83 12 17 21 30 46 55 5v5
EAS 2 4:29 Chara 4 6 8 20 21 70 23 30 33 44 49 63 5v5
EAS 2 2:39 Seidenberg – GOAL 4 6 8 20 23 70 17 19 30 33 44 46 5v5
EAS 2 2:11 Marchand – GOAL 4 6 22 23 42 70 6 30 37 49 55 63 5v5
EAS 2 1:46 Ference 19 27 28 70 74 90 12 21 23 30 44 67 5v5
EAS 2 1:02 Krecji 19 27 28 52 70 90 17 19 30 33 46 55 5v5
EAS 3 19:00 Kelly 25 26 44 52 70 83 6 12 23 30 44 67 5v5
WSH 3 16:39 Knuble – GOAL 4 6 22 23 42 70 6 11 20 21 22 30 5v5
EAS 3 16:30 Lucic 19 28 44 52 70 90 17 19 30 33 44 46 5v5
EAS 3 15:47 Seguin 19 28 44 52 70 90 17 19 30 33 44 46 5v5
EAS 3 15:39 Boychuk 19 28 44 52 70 90 17 19 30 33 44 46 5v5
EAS 3 13:59 Peverley 8 20 21 27 70 74 11 30 33 44 49 63 5v5
EAS 3 11:45 Seguin 20 26 27 70 74 17 19 30 33 46 49 4v5
WSH 3 8:41 Hendricks 4 6 19 25 26 70 21 23 30 33 49 63 5v5
WSH 3 4:03 Ovechkin 8 25 44 70 74 83 17 19 30 33 44 46 5v5
EAS 3 0:43 Marchand 6 19 26 27 42 70 17 19 33 44 46 63 5v5
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