David Krejci and Milan Lucic each had a goal and an assist in the first period, and the Boston Bruins snapped the Washington Capitals' four-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night.
Matt Hunwick added a goal, and Tim Thomas made 35 saves to improve to 3-0 for the Bruins, who held Alex Ovechkin without a point for the first time in the young season.
Rookie Marcus Johansson scored the lone goal for the Capitals, whose high-powered offense has yet to catch stride - even as their penalty kill remains perfect. Washington held Boston scoreless on four power plays, leaving opponents 0 for 25 through six games.
The Bruins scored twice on Michal Neuvirth before the Capitals goaltender left the game in the first period because of illness. Semyon Varlamov came on in relief and stopped 13 of 14 shots.
Krejci gave the Bruins the lead with his first goal of the season, completing a two-on-one break with Nathan Horton midway through the first period. Lucic made it 2-0 less than 3 minutes later, putting the rebound of a shot by Johnny Boychuk.
Less than a minute later, the Capitals pulled Neuvirth and replaced him with Varlamov. The team announced that Neuvirth was suffering from the flu, keeping him from becoming the first goalie in Washington franchise history to play all the team's first six games of a season. Varlamov, who is expected to split playing time with Neuvirth this season, had been sidelined for the first few games with a groin injury.
The Capitals continued to struggle in the second period, looking terrible as they committed giveaways during back-to-back power plays - including 24 seconds of a five-on-three. Yet, soon after the teams returned to even strength, they managed to score, with rookie Johansson getting his first NHL goal when he moved in unmarked to poke in a feed from Jason Chimera, who was behind the net.
But Hunwick restored Boston's two-goal lead early in the third, putting a drive through traffic past Varlamov's stick side.
Ovechkin, among the league leaders with four goals and four assists, managed to put the puck in the net midway through the third period - but he did so with his hand, and officials waved it off without protest from the two-time league MVP. The Capitals, the NHL's highest-scoring team in 2009-10, have reached four goals in a game only once so far this season.
But the Capitals' penalty kill, not exactly a standout unit in recent years, continued to be impenetrable. Jeff Schultz, David Steckel and Brooks Laich provided the highlight, doing a masterful job killing off 53 seconds of a five-on-three in the second period.
This program aired on October 20, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.