“You can probably see one of his hand marks on the side of my neck,’’ he said. “But hey, it’s a fight.’’
The three-goal lead turned into a bit of success the Bruins found hard to handle. By the end of 40 minutes, their 3-0 laugher hand turned into a 3-2 nailbiter.
Ex-Hab Ribeiro connected first for Washington, breaking Rask for the first time at 5:46 of the second. Rookie Steve Olesky triggered the play with a shot above the right circle, one that Ovechkin plucked out of the air in that circle, the puck dropping to his feet. One quick cross-slot dish had Ribeiro free to pot his eighth of the season, lifting his team-high point total to 25.
The Capitals chipped the Boston lead to 3-2 at 11:32 when Kundratek scored the first of his career. Kelly and Nicklas Backstrom battled on a faceoff, with Backstrom booting a dead puck up to Kundratek at the top of the right wing circle. His knuckling shot eluded Rask and the Verizon crowd, quiet when it was 0-3 for the home team, was hootin’ n’ a hollerin’.
Asked if the Bruins suffered a mental letdown after the first period, Chara pulled no punches.
“For sure,’’ he said. “Look at the first 20 minutes and the second 20 minutes, we took a totally different approach. It just wasn’t enough in the second period. I don’t know if we were trying to do too much or whether we’re being too loose. But it wasn’t good enough.