By STEPHEN WHYNO, AP Hockey Author
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lars Eller bought at ease back again at heart, and the Washington Capitals appear to have discovered a groove just after a bump in the highway.
Returning to his natural placement after two games on the wing, Eller scored the go-ahead goal and assisted on an additional Sunday to aid the Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 4-2 and prolong their winning streak to three.
Eller was only back at middle simply because Nicklas Backstrom was scratched for what the group identified as “body servicing,” and he designed the most of it by placing Washington ahead with 12:42 left and environment up Tom Wilson’s 23rd intention of the time.
“It felt very fulfilling, of system, netting a pair of big ambitions with Tom and (linemate Anthony Mantha),” Eller mentioned. “We experienced a excellent activity likely, emotion excellent on the puck and genuinely pleased with how we performed.”
With Eller as an critical portion of the rotation, Washington’s penalty kill was a fantastic 4 of 4 in opposition to Boston’s electric power enjoy.
“The men were buzzing,” explained goaltender Vitek Vanecek, who experienced to make only a few of his 30 will save brief-handed. “They were being blocking photographs. Boston tried some passes, and we broke them up, so that was substantial. Which is what we need to have at this time.”
The Capitals are also getting additional than what they have to have from Wilson, who has 4 targets in 6 game titles and arrived at 50 details in a year for the first time in his occupation. John Carlson also scored his 3rd aim in as several games and Alex Ovechkin sealed it with an vacant-netter.
Ovechkin’s goal was his 45th of the season and 775th of his NHL occupation. His ninth vacant-net goal tied Pavel Bure’s single-season history.
Just after beating the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, the Capitals are inching closer to their biggest rivals and could soon move them for 3rd in the Metropolitan Division — which would mean averting the Japanese Conference-main Florida Panthers in the to start with round. Washington’s 3-video game streak adopted back-to-again deflating losses at household.
“We don’t have any home to lay off the gasoline,” Carlson said. “We’re in a tight race. We know that if we played like we were (actively playing) down the extend listed here, our season’s heading to be genuinely small.”
Boston, which is also jockeying for playoff positioning in the East, lost defenseman Matt Grzelcyk to an higher-human body damage in the to start with period of time. He tried to hit Washington’s Garnet Hathaway about eight minutes into the recreation and appeared to injure his left arm or shoulder.
Mentor Bruce Cassidy named Grzelcyk’s departure “a major, large, significant aspect in the video game, in our inability to changeover very well.”
The banged-up Bruins had been already taking part in devoid of top rated proper winger David Pastrnak and trade deadline acquisition Hampus Lindholm for the reason that of injuries. They obtained objectives from Curtis Lazar and Erik Haula and a handful of spotlight-reel saves from Linus Ullmark between his 27, but the continuation of electrical power-enjoy woes intended the stop of their two-recreation profitable streak.
Boston finished its four-sport highway excursion of 16 on the electrical power participate in.
“We’ve had some problems the place there’s stuff we’ll carry on to try out to coach into our team,” Cassidy mentioned. “But at some stage, the execution will switch for the reason that they are very good players and they have manufactured on the ability engage in.”
NOTES: Conor Sheary returned to Washington’s lineup soon after a just one-video game absence since of sickness. … Josh Brown changed Connor Clifton on defense for Boston. … The Capitals held a moment of silence for previous Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who was killed Saturday in an auto accident.
Bruins: Open up a three-recreation homestand Tuesday night time towards the St. Louis Blues in a rematch of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
Capitals: Host the rival Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday evening.
Observe AP Hockey Author Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno
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