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The Bear Cave


February 3, 2010 2:01 AM

Theodore Shines, Extending Streaks

Throughout his career, Jose Theodore has tended to save some of his best performances for when he plays against the Boston Bruins. Boston entered Tuesday night's contest on a seven-game winless streak, facing red hot goaltenders in practically every game. That situation arose once again, as Theodore stood on his head, making 41 saves in a 4-1 victory for the Washington Capitals at the TD Garden.

Looking to put an end to their recent struggles, the Bruins got off to a strong start. The home team controlled the play early, drawing Washington into taking three of the game's first four penalties. Matt Bradley and Alexander Semin committed the final two penalties, giving Boston a two-man advantage. Marc Savard won an offensive zone face-off back, as the Bruins quickly moved the puck around the perimeter. Three passes later, the puck was back on Savard's tape at the bottom of the right circle. Savard snapped a cross-crease pass to David Krejci, who beat Jose Theodore on his glove side. Boston went on to outshoot the Capitals 13-5 in the first period, taking a 1-0 lead into the intermission.

The beginning of the second period was similar to the start of the first, with one exception. This time, it was the Capitals who came out strong. Washington buzzed around the offensive zone, needing approximately two minutes to tie the game. Jose Theodore started the play in his own zone, swinging the puck around the boards for Nicklas Backstrom. Backstrom carried the puck through center ice, before sending Tom Poti in on the left side of the offensive zone. Poti looked over his options, eventually finding Mike Knuble at the top of the crease. Knuble kept his stick on the ice, redirecting Poti's pass in before Tim Thomas could slide over.

Midway through the game, Boston was given an opportunity to regain the lead. While playing shorthanded, David Krejci received a pass, springing him in on a breakaway. The Bruins' forward was hooked from behind by Mike Knuble, forcing a penalty shot to be called. Unfortunately for the home team, Krejci wasn't able to take advantage of his chance, snapping the penalty shot wide on Theodore's stick side.

The Bruins had another terrific scoring chance in the latter stages of the middle frame, but a diving swipe by Theodore kept Blake Wheeler off of the scoresheet. Despite the missed opportunities, the B's still found themselves tied at one with the Eastern Conference leaders after two periods of play.

Five minutes into the third period, the Capitals took their first lead of the game. Alexander Semin skated in with a slap shot from the right circle that was blocked by Matt Hunwick. Rather than clearing the puck off of the boards, Hunwick opted for a backhand pass behind the net. Semin swooped in for the steal, spinning a pass to Brooks Laich in the left circle. Laich kept his shot low, scoring his eighth goal in 18 career games against Boston.

At that point, the Bruins began to feel some frustration. Less than three minutes later, Washington doubled the lead, making matters even worse for the home team. Brian Pothier gathered in the puck in his own zone, leaving a pass off for Tom Poti. Poti cruised through the middle of the ice, dangling his way into the offensive zone. As he began to close in on the bottom of the right circle, Poti centered a pass into the slot. The pass found Boyd Gordon, who beat Thomas with a one-timer.

From there, the usually offensive-minded Capitals turned their attention on defense, shutting down any and every opportunity that the Bruins tried to create. With 32 seconds left in the game, Alex Ovechkin capped the scoring, putting his 497th career point into Boston's vacant cage.

Jose Theodore earned the win for Washington, turning in a spectacular 41-save performance. Tim Thomas suffered the loss for the Bruins, making 22 saves on 25 shots.

The Capitals have now won eleven straight games, breaking the club's franchise record. The Bruins have now lost eight straight games, going 0-6-2 in that stretch.

If there's one team that the Boston Bruins would love to turn things around against, it would be the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal will be the opponent on Thursday night, as the teams collide for the first of two meetings this week. Thursday's battle takes place at the TD Garden.

Scoring Summary:

1. BOS Krejci (10) (Savard, Wideman) (PP) 6:58
2. WAS Knuble (19) (Poti, Backstrom) 2:04
3. WAS Laich (17) (Semin) 5:04
3. WAS Gordon (2) (Poti, Pothier) 7:51
3. WAS Ovechkin (36) (Unassisted) (EN) 19:28

Penalty Summary:
1. WAS Backstrom- Holding 1:03
1. BOS Wheeler- Interference 2:16
1. WAS Bradley- Tripping 5:30
1. WAS Semin- High Sticking 6:50
1. WAS Semin- Hooking 12:02
2. BOS Ryder- Hooking 3:25
2. BOS Sturm- Holding 9:24
2. BOS Bergeron- Hooking 11:09
2. WAS Semin- Hooking 15:26
3. WAS Ovechkin- Slashing 1:15

Goalies:
WAS Jose Theodore (18-7-4): 42 shots, 41 saves
BOS Tim Thomas (13-15-7): 25 shots, 22 saves (1 en)

Shots on Goal:
WAS 5-12-9=26
BOS 13-16-13=42

Power Plays:
WAS 0-for-4
BOS 1-for-6

Three Stars of the Game:
1- WAS Jose Theodore
2- WAS Tom Poti
3- BOS David Krejci

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