Boston (7-2-0) at Washington (8-4-0)

Fair Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EDT Fri Nov 5, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Boston BruinsTim Thomas(notes) stifled the high-powered Washington Capitals in a home-and-home sweep last month.

Having appeared to regain their scoring punch, the Capitals aim for a better result when they welcome the Bruins and their hot goaltender to the Verizon Center on Friday night.

Washington (8-4-0) scored a league-best 313 goals while claiming its first Presidents’ Trophy in 2009-10, but was no match for Thomas last month. He stopped 35 shots in a 3-1 win in the nation’s capital Oct. 19, then made a season-high 38 saves two nights later as the Bruins won 4-1.

Thomas’ phenomenal start continued Wednesday as he became the first Boston goaltender to win his first seven games in a season, making 33 saves in a 5-2 victory at Buffalo. He has yielded five total goals while getting help from his team’s penalty killers, who have allowed three power-play scores in 35 opportunities.

With Thomas’ help, the Bruins (7-2-0) denied the Capitals on all eight power plays during the October meetings.

Thomas, who won the 2009 Vezina Trophy but struggled to a 17-18-8 record last season as Tuukka Rask(notes) wrested the starting job from him, appears rejuvenated following offseason hip surgery.

“It obviously couldn’t start better. We want to, or at least I personally want to keep it going, and I’m sure everyone else does, too,” Thomas told the Bruins’ official website.

Washington has scored 19 goals while winning four of five, and has converted five of its last eight power plays.

Alexander Semin(notes) has eight points (five goals and three assists) over the last five games, including a game-tying power-play goal after his team blew a 3-1 lead Wednesday night against Toronto.

Playing through an illness, Semin also scored the winner in the 5-4 shootout victory.

Rookie goalie Michal Neuvirth(notes), pressed into full-time duty with Semyon Varlamov(notes) sidelined by a groin injury, made 24 saves to earn his eighth victory.

“Michal’s consistency has been outstanding, and we hope it continues,” coach Bruce Boudreau said of Neuvirth, who earned league rookie of the month honors for October.

After losing four straight to the Capitals, the Bruins have won the last three games in this series. Michael Ryder(notes) has scored three goals and Milan Lucic(notes) has a team-best four points (one goal, three assists) during that winning streak.

Washington star winger Alex Ovechkin(notes) has been held without a point in those three matchups after tallying eight goals and eight assists in his previous 10 games against the Bruins.

Ovechkin has three goals and four assists in his last four games overall.

The Bruins have won all five of their road games this season, and are 10-0-1 in their last 11 away from home in regular-season play.

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Friday, Nov 5