Boston Bruins still struggle to beat Washington Capitals

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 10: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins during the second period at TD Garden on January 10, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins lost their 14th straight game against the Washington Capitals last night. It became the longest active losing skid against one team in the NHL. The Bruins are on a roll of 14 consecutive wins against one team as well. They hold this record in head-to-head meetings with the Arizona Coyotes. However, Boston doesn’t have a chance to get its winning streak against the Coyotes extended this season.

Capitals beat the Bruins again

For the Bruins, beating the Washington Capitals has been mission impossible. The last win against the Caps came in March 2014, when Boston won 4-2 in Washington. After that, no more wins came for the B´s in a 0-11-3 stretch against their nemesis from Washington. It really seems like a curse. Last night at TD Garden, the Bruins outshot Washington 41 to 21 and still lost 4-2.

The main problem for the Bruins in this losing skid has been the first goal given up. In those 14 losses in a row, Boston gave up the first goal of the game 11 times. From those three games in which Boston scored first, they were able to grab at least a point twice. The powerplay has been an issue as well. Last night, Boston went one for five on the man advantage.

Braden Holtby has been a huge problem for Boston for his entire career. Holtby is 16-2-0 in his 18 career starts against the Bruins. He has faced 568 shots and turned aside 536 of them, giving him a 1.85 goals-against average with .944 save percentage. On the other side, Tuukka Rask has just one career victory versus the Caps and it was a shutout outing in March 2014.

Washington always hands the Bruins brutally tough loss

Let’s take a closer look at the losing streak Boston is experiencing against Washington. In the 2014-2015 season, Holtby had three shutouts in three starts against Boston. The Capitals ended a five-game winning streak of the Bruins two times that year.

Next season, there is one game to remember. The Capitals came to play the Bruins at TD Garden after a brutal stretch of hockey. That night, on March 5, Washington played the fourth game in five nights and Holtby wasn’t starting in the net. Although Boston scored first, Matt Niskanen won the game in overtime to finish the season sweep.

On December 7, 2016, Boston visited Capital One Arena riding a three-game winning streak. They lost that game in overtime but gained a valuable point coming back from a three-goal deficit. Later on that season, the Caps ended a three-game win streak and a seven-game point streak respectively.

Last campaign, the Bruins saw their three-game winning streak end in a 5-3 home loss in December. Later that same month, the Capitals finished a five-game winning streak of Boston. It wasn’t enough for the Bruins to not allow Washington having a single second of a lead, as the Capitals won that game in a shootout.

Boston tries to finally end skid versus Washington

On opening night earlier this year, Washington beat the B´s 7-0 on Cup banner night. Yesterday, being outshot 41-22, they still prevailed and got a 4-2 win.

Washington Capitals will try to make it 15 straight against the Bruins on February 3 later this season. That would provide them longest active winning streak alone in the NHL. The feared game for Boston will be played in Capital One Arena in Washington, where the Bruins will either finally prevail or continue the curse-like skid.

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