The B's played the Caps four times this season, and went an unremarkable 1-2-1 in those four games. Here's a look back at the regular season series:
January 24, 2012: Caps 5, Bruins 3 (Verizon Center)
In their last game before the All Star break, the B's saw Mathieu Perreault record the first hat trick of his NHL career. The 24-year-old had a remarkable game, scoring three times, firing five shots on goal, and even earning four penalty minutes.
The B's scored first when Rich Peverley's centering pass bounced off a Cap and past Tomas Vokoun, but two strikes in 41 seconds by the Caps put the B's down by a goal. The teams then exchanged goals, as Tyler Seguin tied it up; Perreault put the Caps ahead again with his second goal; and Brad Marchand scored a power play marker with 2:18 left in the second to knot things at 3.
However, Perreault's third goal of the game just about halfway through the third gave the Caps a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Perreault, unchecked at the top of the crease, banged in the rebound of a Roman Hamrlik point shot in what was some pretty weak coverage by the B's.
Dennis Wideman ended the B's comeback hopes when he sank a long empty-netter with 27 seconds left. The Caps won without both Alexander Ovechkin, who was serving a suspension, and Nicklas Backstrom, who was out with a concussion.
And that was about it. There was nothing else notable about this game, who didn't play, or any events that took place on the previous day...
February 5, 2012: Bruins 4, Caps 1 (Verizon Center)
It was Super Bowl Sunday in New England (sorry, I didn't mean to stir those bad memories), and the B's got a big game-worthy performance from their lightning rod netminder. Tim Thomas, just a couple of weeks removed from the "White House-gate" firestorm, made the start and shut down the Caps, allowing just one goal on 36 shots.
Thomas was terrific, making a number of top-notch stops, including a doorstep save on Ovechkin and a breakaway pad stop on Alex Semin.
The B's got two goals in the first (Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand) and added two more in the third (Tyler Seguin and an empty-netter from Rich Peverley) to put away the Caps, who only managed a single goal, a third period tally by Marcus Johansson, sandwiched between the Seguin and Peverley strikes.
March 10, 2012: Caps 4, Bruins 3 (TD Garden)
The Caps were desperate for points to stay in the playoff picture, and the B's were mired in their "win-loss-win-loss-loss-win" stretch. The B's decided to make things hard on themselves by allowing the Caps to score two goals in a span of 25 seconds in the first period, but they dug out of that 2-0 hole and tied things up on the strength of a Milan Lucic goal directly off of a faceoff with five seconds left in the first and a Brad Marchand wrister five minutes into the second.
However, the Caps ended up being the more desperate and hard-working team, and the B's couldn't stay out of their own way: Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid collided behind the net, leading to Jay Beagle's goal eleven minutes into the second, and a Brooks Laich power play goal six minutes later (after a tremendously weak "roughing" call on Greg Zanon) ended up being the difference.
The B's, showing a little desperation themselves, made a great push in the third, firing 13 shots on Tomas Vokoun and getting a goal from Johnny Boychuk with 3:13 left to make things interesting. The B's pulled the goalie, and managed to get few chances in a furious final minute, but Vokoun held down the fort.
March 29, 2012: Caps 3, Bruins 2 (SO) (TD Garden)
The B's came into this game with the opportunity to clinch a playoff spot, but again lost to the more desperate Caps. This game was actually a real snoozer until the third period. Take a look at the box score. There's a whole lot of "none" there.
Things got a bit dicey for the B's early in the first, however, when Jason Chimera charged and injured Adam McQuaid behind the B's net; McQuaid left the game and didn't return, while Chimera was given a five-minute major and the rest of the night off. The B's managed four shots on goal on the power play, but couldn't beat Tomas Vokoun.
Then, in the second period...nothing happened. The teams combined for 15 shots and one penalty. However, determined to stay in their slump, the B's spotted the Caps a two-goal lead midway through the third when Dennis Wideman and Marcus Johansson scored two minutes apart.
Undaunted by (another) 2-0 deficit against the Caps, the B's stormed back to tie it up, as David Krejci (16:50) and Andrew Ference (18:44) scored late goals.
The game would go to a (surprisingly) exciting overtime, and then to a shootout, where Brooks Laich's beauty of a top-shelf backhander won it for the Caps.
The most important development to come out of this game, however, may have been the groin injury Vokoun suffered in the first period. Michal Neuvirth replaced Vokoun at the start of the second period, and Vokoun hasn't played since.
-Posted by Dan, 4/9/12