Bruins' quest for Northeast title heads to D.C.
(Sports Network) - Aiming for a third straight Northeast Division title, the Boston Bruins try to notch a second consecutive victory on Saturday night when they visit the Southeast Division-champion Washington Capitals.
The Bruins enter play tied with the Montreal Canadiens atop the division standings with 61 points and can finish no lower than fourth overall in the conference. Boston does have a game in hand as it will host the Ottawa Senators on Sunday to make up the game that was postponed on April 15 due to the Boston Marathon bombings.
The Canadiens conclude their regular season tonight at the Toronto Maple Leafs and have one more non-shootout win than the Bruins, which is the first tiebreaker.
Boston went into Thursday's meeting with the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-4-1 in its previous six, but recorded a 2-0 shutout behind Tuukka Rask's 30 saves.
Rask notched his fifth shutout of the season and 16th of his career, while Dennis Seidenberg and Daniel Paille had second-period goals.
"Overall I thought we played hard. We moved the puck quickly, and when there was a breakdown Tuukka (Rask) was there to make the big saves. I know if we keep playing that way we will only get better," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
Nathan Horton will not make the trip to Washington as he continues to recover from an upper body injury, while Jaromir Jagr is questionable for this game due to flu-like symptoms.
The Capitals are locked into the third seed for the upcoming playoffs and are coming off just their second loss of April (10-2-0), a 2-1 overtime setback to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.
Michal Neuvirth made 39 saves, but couldn't stop Sergei Gonchar's shot 47 seconds into overtime with Washington's Mike Ribeiro in the penalty box for roughing.
"We knew they would be a desperate team and try and create the playoff atmosphere," Capitals head coach Adam Oates said.
Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 32nd goal of the season in his 600th career game. Ovechkin is three goals ahead of Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos in the race for the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the league's top goal- scorer.
The Capitals and Bruins have split two meetings this season, with each team winning once at home. Washington's victory was a 4-3 overtime decision on March 5 and it has won eight of its past 11 at home against Boston.
04/27 11:18:22 ET