Capitals lose late lead, drop Game 2 to Bruins in overtime: Observations

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Caps lose late lead to Bruins, drop Game 2 in OT originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Capitals were on the verge of a 2-0 series lead, but a late goal by Taylor Hall forced overtime where Brad Marchand won it 4-3 for the Boston Bruins. The series will now head to Boston for Game 3 on Wednesday tied 1-1.

Here is how the loss happened.

Tuukka Rask

The Caps came out firing, but Rask was on point early on, turning aside a number of good early opportunities including a Nic Dowd breakaway. That allowed the Bruins to take a 1-0 lead despite being outplayed.

Rask was almost unbeatable on everything the Caps shot at him clean. He was beaten twice off deflections and Washington's third goal came off a 2-on-1. Otherwise, Rask made 36 saves for the win.

Coyle sets up DeBrusk

Jake DeBrusk opened the scoring with his second goal of the series, but really he just benefitted from a great play made by Charlie Coyle.

Coyle broke the puck in the offensive zone on the right. He cocked back like he was going to fire a wrister and that froze defenseman Brenden Dillon. He tried to turn the corner and Anderson challenged him, forcing him out wide. He was caught way out of the net at that point and Coyle wrapped the puck around and centered it to DeBrusk who had cut to the middle upon seeing the empty net.

The perfection line strikes

You weren't going to keep these guys from scoring all series.

A missed pass trickled into Washington's defensive zone to Dmitry Orlov. With three Bruins players along the blue line, Orlov tried to play it safe and clear the puck high, but David Pastrnak reached a glove up over his head and was able to whack the puck back down on the ice. With the Caps scrambling, Pastrnak found Patrice Bergeron in the high slot and he fired a wrister into the back of the net.

No Lars Eller

Eller left in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. Already without Evgeny Kuznetsov, Eller's loss left the Caps with just two centers. Part of the reason Michael Raffl was brought in at the deadline was as center depth, but the loss of Eller was not ideal and the team's lack of center depth was really tested as the game pushed beyond 60 minutes.

Another issue was the fact that Eller was the Caps' top faceoff center on the night at 50%. As a team, the Caps won only 37% of the draws.

Taylor Hall forces overtime

The Caps were 2:49 away from a commanding 2-0 series lead, until Taylor Hall managed to find the puck in the crease on a scrum and tuck it under goalie Craig Anderson.

Hall carried the puck into the offensive zone and made the pass to set up the play. Craig Smith could not get the puck to go and suddenly a mass of bodies descended on the crease. Hall, who skated in on the left side, wheeled around the net to the right side and ended up being at the right place at the right time as the puck sat there in the crease for him to shoot it in.

Marchand wins it 39 seconds into overtime

A failed defensive zone clear was the dagger for Washington. David Krejci picked up the puck before it could leave the zone, fired it left to Matt Grzelcyk who returned the puck to the right to an open Brad Marchand for the one-timer. The goal came just 39 seconds into overtime.