Alex Ovechkin and Brooks Laich each had a pair of goals, and Jose Theodore made 19 saves, as the Washington Capitals knocked off the Boston Bruins 4-1 before a capacity crowd at TD Banknorth Garden.
The Capitals played an almost flawless game against one of their main challengers for supremacy in the Eastern Conference. They built a 4-0 lead, played terrific on the power play, netting two goals, and was stingy on defense the entire contest.
Washington definitely got into the Bruins heads, as they seemed to be talking to themselves in the game's latter stages, trying to pump each other up. They were momentarily successful, when Patrice Bergeron tallied on a breakaway after a David Steckel turnover on the Boston blue line.
But that was Boston's lone strike, as Theodore brushed aside the few shots that made it through the defense.
The Capitals best players produced. Laich had an assist to go with his two goals, Nicklas Backstrom had three helpers, and Alexander Semin had a pair of assists.
The first goal was early in the the first period -- a power play marker by Laich -- set up with nifty cross-ice passing by Ovechkin and Backstrom, who fed Laich right on Tim Thomas' (30 saves) doorstep. Ovechkin's first of the night came in the second. Backstrom took control of the puck along the dasher, fed Semin at center ice, and the talented Russian dropped a back pass for Ovie in the slot.
Ovechkin made no mistake.
Laich scooped up a loose puck just as Thomas was about to sit on it for his second goal of the night 16 seconds into the third period, and Ovechkin put a wrist shot past Thomas off a great cross-crease pass from defenseman Tom Poti to close the scoring.
The Caps out shot the Bruins 34-20 for the game, and 12-3 in the third period, as Boston was frustrated in their comeback bid.
Instead of scoring goals, Boston decided to fight in the third period instead, as Shawn Thronton mixed it up in a pretty fair draw with John Erskine.
The Capitals host Toronto, who lost 4-3 in overtime to Montreal tonight, in the home opener Saturday night at 7:00 pm.
17:15 Power Play - Brooks Laich (1), Snap Shot. Assist: Backstrom, Ovechkin
09:31 Alex Ovechkin (1), Snap Shot. Assist: Semin, Backstrom
16.0 Power Play - Brooks Laich (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Backstrom, Semin
01:56 Alex Ovechkin (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: Poti
07:56 Short - Patrice Bergeron (1), Backhand Shot. Assist: Begin, Stuart
1. A. Ovechkin - WAS (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)
2. B. Laich - WAS (Goals: 2, Assists: 1)
3. N. Backstrom - WAS (Goals: 0, Assists: 3)
Washington's last regulation victory in Boston was Dec. 2, 2000. The Capitals went 3-0-1 against the Bruins last season.
The Caps were 2-for-4 on the power play. Boston went 0-for-5.