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Bruins host Capitals in key Game 5

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

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Bruins host Capitals in key Game 5
Washington Capitals vs. Boston Bruins


(Best-of-seven series tied 2-2)


Big Story: The best-of-seven series is down to a best-of-three after each team split its first two home games in a series that has featured plenty of strong goaltending and no two-goal leads.

Team Scope:

Capitals: Rookie goaltender Braden Holtby has garnered most of the attention with three fantastic games in four. His .953 save percentage is tops among goalies who have played in every game in the postseason. He stopped 44 of 45 shots in Washington's 2-1 victory in Game 4 on Thursday night.

The Capitals are also getting strong performances from their top players -- something that has been a problem in previous postseasons. Alexander Semin has goals in back-to-back games, Alex Ovechkin has four points in four games and Nicklas Backstrom, while suspended for Game 4, had an overtime goal in Game 2 and a highlight-reel assist in Game 3.

Bruins: Boston dominated possession in Game 4 and fired shots from all angles at Holtby, but the Bruins did not have a lot of chances from in close. That has been the theme of this series for the defending champs -- the one game they were able to get shots through and find the rebounds (Game 3) was the one where they solved Holtby four times.

Coach Claude Julien shuffled his forward lines at practice Friday. He moved Brian Rolston to the top line and Brad Marchand to the fourth line. Tyler Seguin, Boston's leading scorer in the regular season, was one of four guys working with the third line and could be replaced in the lineup by Jordan Caron.

Who's Hot: Brooks Laich leads the Capitals with seven points in their past six games, including four in four playoff games. … Holtby has stopped 148 shots, the second-most behind Phoenix's Mike Smith. … Rich Peverley has goals in back-to-back games for the Bruins.

Injury Report: One of Washington's injured goaltenders is ready to go. Michal Neuvirth will be able to back up Holtby in Game 5, though he admitted he isn't 100 percent. Tomas Vokoun is still not ready. … Boston's injured goaltender, Tuukka Rask, is also close to returning to backup duty. Defenseman Adam McQuaid still hasn't resumed skating, so he isn't expected back in the near future.

Stat Pack: No team has been able to open a two-goal lead in this series. … The series has been tied 71 percent of the time according to the site Japers' Rink, Washington has led by one goal 23 percent of the time and Boston has held a one-goal lead just 6 percent of the time. … The Capitals have blocked 90 shots, the second-most in the playoffs behind the New York Rangers' 96, after being credited with 26 in Game 4. …Neither team put a shot on goal in the final 7:13 of Game 4, with the Caps making the last two of their blocks in the final 10 seconds.

Puck Drop: The next two games will be played on back-to-back days, but Washington's stars should be well-rested. Backstrom did not play in Game 4 because of a suspension, while Ovechkin, Semin and defenseman Mike Green all saw their ice time cut dramatically in the third period of the 2-1 win. Ovechkin played only 1:58 in the period, lowest on the team, and only 15 seconds in the final 14 minutes. Semin and Green played less than four minutes in the period.

series schedule/results
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 12 '12 WSH 0 at BOS 1 - OT C. Kelly
Apr 14 '12 WSH 2 at BOS 1 - OT N. Backstrom
Apr 16 '12 BOS 4 at WSH 3 Z. Chara
Apr 19 '12 BOS 1 at WSH 2 A. Semin
Apr 21 '12 WSH 4 at BOS 3 T. Brouwer
Apr 22 '12 BOS 4 at WSH 3 - OT T. Seguin
Apr 25 '12 WSH 2 at BOS 1 - OT J. Ward
B. Laich5134+2200
A. Ovechkin5134+0000
A. Semin5303+0221
M. Johansson5123-1000
T. Brouwer5202-1611
N. Backstrom4112+31601
J. Beagle5101+0400
M. Knuble2101+0200
R. Hamrlik5011+4400
M. Green5011+4200
K. Alzner5011+0000
J. Ward5011-1000
J. Carlson5011-1400
K. Aucoin5011-3200
D. Wideman5011-4200
J. Erskine2011-1000
J. Chimera5000+0200
M. Hendricks5000+0200
M. Perreault4000-1000
J. Schultz3000-4000
B. Holtby53-2101851.86.946
R. Peverley5213+1400
C. Kelly5123+2201
D. Seidenberg5123+2200
Z. Chara5123+0801
B. Rolston5123-1000
B. Pouliot5112+0200
B. Marchand5112+0200
J. Boychuk5112-1410
G. Campbell5022+0000
D. Paille5101+0200
G. Zanon5011+2000
P. Bergeron5011+0200
M. Lucic5011+0800
D. Krejci5011-1400
A. Ference5011-4000
J. Corvo5000+3000
T. Seguin5000+1000
S. Thornton5000+0000
T. Thomas52-3111412.05.922