WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: Cody Eakin #50 of the Washington Capitals brings the puck around the net against Chris Kelly #23 of the Boston Bruins at the Verizon Center on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

Bruins Vs. Capitals: Mathieu Perreault Hat Trick Leads Washington To 5-3 Win Over Boston

Matthieu Perreault notched his first career hat trick to send the Caps to the All-Star break on a winning note.

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Bruins Vs. Capitals Final Score: Mathieu Perreault Hat Trick Leads Washington To 5-3 Win Over Boston

The Washington Capitals rebounded from their overtime loss to the PIttsburgh Penguins with a 5-3 win over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. It was the Caps first game without Alex Ovechkin, who was suspended for three games for a hit on Zbynek Michalek in Sunday's game.

It was a fast-moving third period, with few whistles. The Capitals took a 4-3 lead on Mathieu Perreault's third goal of the game - the first hat trick of his career. Leading up to the goal, Washington applied heavy pressure in the Boston offensive zone, with Alexander Semin just missing on a breakaway chance about a minute before the Perreault goal.

Roman Hamrlik set up the play, barely saving the puck at the blue line to keep it in the zone. As soon he controlled it, he put a quick wrister on Boston goalie Tuukka Rask. The puck bounced off Rask for a big rebound in front. Perreault was there to clean it up and push it past a diving Rask, who got caught out too far off the rebound. The Bruins' defensive line also got caught out on the ice for an extended shift, and Perreault, who came onto the ice after a high-sticking penalty on Zdeno Chara was there to take advantage.

Dennis Wideman added an empty-net goal to make it 5-3 with under 30 seconds left to play. Wideman appeared to try and clear it after a face-off in the Caps zone, flipping it down the center of the ice and into the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season.

With a quality home win under their belt, Washington now heads to the All-Star break.

For more on the Caps, visit SB Nation's Caps blog, Japers' Rink.


Bruins Vs. Capitals: Boston, Washington Do Best To One-Up Each Other, Game Tied At 3-3

Anything the Washington Capitals do, the Boston Bruins are trying to do better.

A back-and-forth period saw five goals scored as the Caps and Bruins are tied at 3-3 after 40 minutes.

After the Bruins scored a fluky goal in the first period, the Caps responded with Cody Eakin's goal at 2:14. Tuukka Rask stopped Eakin's harmless snap shot, but he misplayed it and it rolled into the back of the net. It was Eakin's fourth goal of the season.

Forty-one seconds later, Mathieu Perreault gave Washington its first lead at 2-1. A give-and-go with Alexander Semin left Perreault with an empty net, which he took advantage of for his fifth goal of the season.

The Bruins tied the game at 12:21 when Tyler Seguin stole the puck from John Carlson in the Caps' defensive zone and beat Tomas Vokoun with a high backhand for his 19th goal of the season. Not to be outdone, Perreault took advantage of a turnover himself when he picked the puck off and dashed in for a breakaway of his own, beating Rask with a wrist shot for his second goal of the game at 14:23.

Perreault, however, helped tie the game for Boston by taking a hooking penalty. On the ensuing power play, Brad Marchand corralled a rebound and beat Vokoun for his 17th goal of the season.

Shots are 25-18 in favor of Boston.


Bruins Vs. Capitals: Caps Holding Own Despite Being Down 1-0 After 20 Minutes

Considering the circumstances that the Washington Capitals find themselves in Tuesday, they are holding their own against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

After not registering a shot on goal through the first six minutes of the game, the Caps came on hard, but it is the Bruins that hold a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.

The Bruins pressed on Tomas Vokoun throughout the period and could not get anything past him, but Karl Alzner did. Rich Peverly gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 17:46 when Alzner swiped at his centering pass from behind the goal line and swept it past Vokoun. It was Peverly's eighth goal of the season.

The Caps, without Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green, are doing what they can to muster offense. Mike Knuble has been the most energetic and productive, earning a shot on goal and two missed chances while also setting up his teammates and playing sound defense.

The Bruins have a 12-10 shot advantage over the Caps.


Bruins Vs. Capitals Game Time, TV Schedule And More

The Washington Capitals host the Boston Bruins on Tuesday evening before embarking on a three-game road trip. Washington hopes to end its two-game losing streak and keep pace with the Florida Panthers in the Southeast Division.

In their last outing, the Capitals fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, in overtime, squandering what had been a 3-2 lead. Alex Ovechkin had one goal and two assists in the losing effort.

Boston is coming off a 6-5 win in a shootout against the Philadelphia Flyers, which improved it to 5-1 in shootouts for the 2011/12 season. Tim Thomas stoned Wayne Simmonds' tying attempt in the shootout, giving the Bruins the victory.

Tuesday's meeting is the first of four between Boston and Washington on the season. Boston won three of the four games in 2010/11.

Here's everything you need to know about Tuesday's matchup between the Capitals and Bruins:

Game Date/Time: Tuesday, January 24; 7:00pm ET

Location: Verizon Center, Washington, DC

TV Schedule
Washington: Comcast SportsNet
Boston: NESN

Radio Schedule
Washington: Federal News Radio 1500 AM
Boston: The Sports Hub 98.5 FM

For more on the Caps, please visit Japers' Rink, SB Nation's Capitals blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Boston and Stanley Cup of Chowder, SB Nation's Bruins blog.


Alex Ovechkin, George McPhee 'Disappointed' In Suspension, Will Not Attend All-Star Game

BALLSTON, Va. - Less than 24 hours after the league suspended Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin for three games, Ovechkin and General Manager George McPhee said that they were "disappointed" with the NHL's decision and announced that the former will not attend the All-Star Game this weekend.

"My heart is not there," Ovechkin said in regards to the All-Star Game. "I got suspended, so why I have to go there? I love the game. [The All-Star Game] is a great event. I love to be there, but I'm suspended. I don't want to be a target. I feel I'm not deserving to be there right now. I got suspended. I have to be suspended so that's why I give up my roster [spot]."

What seemed to bother Ovechkin about the league's decision was that it will follow him for the rest of his career after he believed that his hit on Zbynek Michalek Sunday was not a dirty one.

"I was disappointed, actually," Ovechkin said. "I don't think it was a bad hit or dirty hit. Yeah, I jumped, but [Michalek] don't get hurt, I don't get two minutes. I don't think it was a three-game suspension."

McPhee echoed Ovechkin's sentiments about both issues.

"I was surprised and disappointed," McPhee said in regards to the three-game ruling. "I didn't anticipate he'd be suspended for three games. We presented our case to the league yesterday and I thought we did real well, but didn't get the result we wanted."

McPhee said he thought the hit might warrant a fine or a one-game suspension, but when it went to three, he "was pretty disappointed."

"Because he's a suspended player, he doesn't feel like he deserves to be there, so he's not going to go," McPhee said about Ovechkin's decision not to attend the All-Star Game, which he supports. "He doesn't want to be a distraction to the event."

Ovechkin will now sit out the next three games and cannot return until February 4, but he knows what he plans to do with his mandated time off.

"Right now, I'm going to support my teammates today," Ovechkin said as his teammates prepare for the Boston Bruins Tuesday. "After that, chilling, like I always do."


Bruins Vs. Capitals: Tomas Vokoun To Start For Alex Ovechkin-less Capitals

BALLSTON, Va. - The shorthanded Washington Capitals prepared for their first meeting with the Boston Bruins during their morning skate at Kettler Capitals Iceplex Tuesday. The Caps will be without Alex Ovechkin, who was suspended for three games Monday, but he was on the ice with his teammates Tuesday.

Washington, already without Nicklas Backstrom (head injury) and Mike Green {abdominal surgery}, will be incredibly undermanned against the defending Stanley Cup champions, who enter Tuesday leading the Eastern Conference with 64 points.

The Caps did not perform line rushes Tuesday, but did seem to have a contingency plan Monday before Ovechkin was suspended:

Marcus Johansson - Mathieu Perreault - Alexander Semin
Matt Hendricks - Brooks Laich - Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Jeff Halpern - Mike Knuble
Jay Beagle - Cody Eakin - Joel Ward

Tomas Vokoun left the ice first and will start against the Bruins. Vokoun is 5-9-3 with a 2.59 GAA and .930 SV% lifetime against Boston.

The only player missing from the morning skate was Jeff Schultz, who is out with an illness, according to a team spokesman.


Bruins Vs. Capitals: Washington Faces Defending Champions Without Alex Ovechkin

The Washington Capitals may not like the timing of their first meeting with the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Without Alex Ovechkin, the Caps will face the Boston Bruins Tuesday hoping to fill the void of their suspended captain.

The NHL suspended Ovechkin for three games Monday for his hit on the Pittsburgh Penguins' Zbynek Michalek Sunday. Ovechkin left his feet and made contact with Michalek's head, which was enough evidence for the league to suspend Ovechkin for the third time.

The Caps are already without Nicklas Backstrom (head injury) and Mike Green (abdominal surgery), which will be the first time since all three have been in the NHL that all three have been out of the lineup.

Meanwhile, the Bruins are leading the Eastern Conference at 31-13-2. After visiting the White House Monday, Boston will visit Verizon Center, where they split the two games with Washington last season. Tim Thomas won all three games for the Bruins against the Caps last season.


Bruins Vs. Capitals: Caps Prepare For Game Without Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom Skates Before Practice

The Caps prepared for Tuesday's game against the Bruins like they could miss Alex Ovechkin due to suspension. Nicklas Backstrom returned to the ice for a brief skate before practice.

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