A shorthanded B’s roster is bailed out in net … for a time: The Bruins already had a tall task in front of them on Saturday night — facing off against a Capitals team sitting atop the Eastern Conference and coming off of a 13-game point streak.
To make matters worse, an already decimated B’s roster skating without the likes of Torey Krug, Jake DeBrusk and others was dealt another blow ahead of puck drop — as Patrice Bergeron was held out as a precaution due to a nagging lower-body injury. With Boston’s forward corps tossed in a blender and its power play without its top conductor on the blue line, Saturday’s bout against Washington more or less went as expected, with the Caps often hemming Boston in its own zone for most of the night.
Tallies from Charlie Coyle and David Pastrnak might have given the B’s the lead at 3:30 in the second period, but Boston didn’t have much time to reset and generate some breathing room, as the Bruins were under siege from a Caps team that entered Saturday with wins in seven straight meetings at TD Garden.
But, despite a salvo of shots from the Capitals, Boston was primed to survive and advance with two points in hand all the way to the final minute of regulation — due in large part to the play of Jaroslav Halak in net.
Boston’s slim 2-1 lead through the 59th minute of play can largely be credited to the B’s backup netminder, who turned aside 42 of the 44 shots that came his way against a Caps club that generated 36 scoring chances on the night.
Ultimately, Halak’s heroics in net could only go so far,