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The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals play Game 2 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round series Monday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena. Below, we analyze the Bruins-Capitals odds and lines, with NHL picks and predictions.
The Bruins were tripped up 3-2 in overtime in the series opener as Capitals C Nic Dowd posted his first-career overtime playoff goal to give Washington a 1-0 series lead.
To make matters worse for Boston, D Jeremy Lauzon suffered a hand injury and is a question mark for Game 2, as are RW Ondrej Kase and D Jakub Zboril due to upper-body ailments.
Each team has been a fixture in the playoffs during the past decade, with the Capitals making the postseason the past seven seasons and in 13 of the past 14, including winning the Stanley Cup in 2018. The Bruins have made the postseason the past five seasons and in 12 of the past 14, winning the Stanley Cup in 2011 and reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2013 and 2019.
But this time Zdeno Chara, who was Bruins captain for each of those runs to the Final, is on the other side after signing with the Capitals as a free agent on Dec. 30.
“Obviously playing ‘Z,’ I’m sure that’ll be a storyline,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said.
Chara was the longest-tenured captain in the NHL, serving in the role during his 14 seasons with Boston. In his 1,023 games with the Bruins, the 44-year-old scored 481 points (148 goals, 333 assists). He scored 10 points (two goals, eight assists) this season with Washington.
The Bruins are heartened by the fact they played well of late against the Capitals in the MassMutual East Division. Entering 2020-21, the Bruins lost 17 of 19 regular-season games (2-12-5) against the Capitals, dating to Oct. 11, 2014. This season Boston was 4-2-2 against Washington.