Zdeno Chara set to face Bruins for the first time with Capitals

Tanya Simon
February 3, 2021

Alex Ovechkin scored 28 seconds into overtime in his return as the Washington Capitals extended their season-opening point streak to a franchise-record nine games with a 4-3 victory against the visiting Boston Bruins on Saturday.

Ovechkin, the Capitals captain, was playing in his first game after missing Washington's past four contests due to NHL COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

"It was enjoyable", said Ovechkin, who had an assist while being slipped back with 14 minutes of ice time. "[But] we win it in overtime".

Ovechkin's goal salvaged two points for the Capitals, who blew a 3-0 lead by allowing goals to Nick Ritchie, Brad Marchand and then Charlie McAvoy with 57.3 seconds left in regulation.

This will be the first of eight head-to-heads with the Capitals this year, and the start of what will be a four-game road trip for the Bruins, with a two-game set in Washington up first before a two-game trip to Philly. "For him to come from this 10 times and play with a game the way he did, I believed that was a real incentive for our staff".

Of course, Ovechkin didn't do it alone. Out for most of training camp due to COVID issues, the 5-foot-11 wing comes into action with four goals and 11 points in 36 National Hockey League games over the last two years, and with an increased effort to become more of a net-front threat. Goalie Vitek Vanecek made 40 saves.

Former Bruins captain Zdeno Chara played almost 21 minutes in his first game against his former team, which did not find him as a fulltime participant at age 43. Chara - who doesn't wear a visor - took a puck to the face late in the first period but returned for the second and didn't miss a shift.

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Bruins forwards Jake DeBrusk (lower-body) and Ondrej Kase (upper body) are out.

The Bruins and Capitals will meet seven more times this season, including Monday night's rematch.

"We made a few mistakes, " Cassidy said. It was simply a matter of the Capitals cashing in on more chances than the Bruins.

"He's in great shape, looks good out there, but we'll have to monitor that out there". "We had a lot of opportunities".

Boston has won four straight games.

It was his first game against the Bruins since April 11, 2006, while lining up with the Ottawa Senators.

"It is a situation when rules are rules, right?"

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