David Krejci gave Boston the lead in the second period, and goalie Tuukka Rask made 24 saves as the visiting Bruins ended a long string of frustration against Washington with a 1-0 victory over the Capitals in a Sunday matinee.
For Boston, the victory snapped a 14-game losing streak against Washington. The Bruins also had dropped three in a row and five of their last six games, and Rask became the franchise’s all-time leader in wins (253), overtaking Tiny Thompson.
This was Rask’s second game back after being out since Jan. 19 due to a concussion.
Boston played from the start like it was determined to end its skid against the Capitals. The Bruins outshot Washington 39-24, getting 15 shots in each of the first two periods.
Alex Ovechkin rejoined the Washington lineup for this game. He sat out the last one after being suspended for skipping the All-Star Game, but the Capitals could not do much on offense.
Washington was trying to win a second consecutive game after beating Western Conference-leading Calgary 4-3 on Friday night, thanks to a late goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov. But the Capitals, who had lost seven in a row before that, struggled again on offense.
Much of that came from the pressure Boston put on them. The Bruins would not let up and got 10 of the game’s first 12 shots and repeatedly found scoring chances.
If not for a strong effort from Washington goalie Braden Holtby (38 saves), the final could have been worse. Holtby looked sharp in turning away several Bruin scoring chances, but the Capitals could not help him at the other end.
The Capitals even had problems again on the power play. They nearly gave up a shorthanded goal when the game was scoreless midway through the second period before Boston finally broke through and took the lead a few minutes later.
That’s when Torey Krug made a quick cross-ice pass to Krejci, who blasted a one-timer past Holtby from the left side with 9:17 left in the second period for the one-goal lead.
Washington put the pressure on in the final minutes of the third period, just missing on several scoring chances as Boston held on.
Boston hosts the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.