WASHINGTON - With a flick of his wrists, ex-Bruin Dennis Wideman sailed a puck from deep in his zone into the middle of an empty Boston net, capping a 5-3 Washington win last night before 18,506 at the Verizon Center.
The wide-open net was an accurate image of the defensive fight the Bruins submitted.
“There was none,’’ answered coach Claude Julien when asked about his team’s defense. “The way we played tonight, we gave them their goals. Turnovers from our D’s, the types of goals we gave them, it was certainly disappointing for our team.’’
For the second straight game, the Bruins gave up five goals. And for the second straight game, the Bruins allowed an opposing player to score three goals. Last night, Mathieu Perreault beat Tuukka Rask three times, including a third-period strike for the winning goal. On Sunday, Scott Hartnell slipped three second-period pucks past Tim Thomas.
But the Bruins were able to prevail against Hartnell and the Flyers; they couldn’t do the same against Perreault and the Capitals. Washington scored three of its five goals in the second period when the Bruins were at their leakiest.
“We can’t just rely on playing a good first, a bad second, and just think everything’s going to come up for us in the third and we’re going to win the game,’’ Patrice Bergeron said. “It’s not going to happen all the time. We’ve been lucky when it did.’’
Rich Peverley had given the Bruins a 1-0 lead with a goal late in the first. In the second, Cody Eakin snapped a shot that should never have gone in. Rask stopped Eakin’s wrister, but before the goalie could squeeze it tight, the puck rolled off his right arm and over the goal line at 2:14 of the second, tying the game at 1-1.
“Kind of sums up my night,’’ said Rask (18 saves).
But Rask had little support from his teammates, especially in the second. Perreault kicked off his drive for the hat trick after the Bruins allowed the Capitals to dance unchallenged into their zone. After taking an outlet pass from Roman Hamrlik, Alex Semin drifted down the right wing and considered his options. Semin faked a shot and slid a cross-ice pass to Perreault.
With Dennis Seidenberg and Johnny Boychuk backtracking, Perreault collected the pass and beat Rask at 2:55, giving the Capitals a 2-1 lead.
Tyler Seguin tied the score with an in-close backhand roofer over Tomas Vokoun (29 saves) at 12:21 of the second.
But the Capitals answered after a bad Boychuk turnover. He tried to send a D-to-D backhand pass in the neutral zone to Zdeno Chara. Perreault cut in front of Boychuk’s pass, stole the puck, and broke away for a rush on Rask. Before Chara could close on the backcheck, Perreault snapped one in high blocker on Rask at 14:23.
Brad Marchand tied the score at 17:42 of the second with a power-play goal. Vokoun made a point-blank stop on Bergeron, then got his glove on Seidenberg’s point shot. But Marchand swooped in and tapped the rebound in to tie the game at 3.
On Perreault’s winning goal, the Bruins repeatedly lost puck battles in their own zone. Perreault won the puck from Adam McQuaid behind the goal line and sent a pass around the boards to the point. Before Gregory Campbell could hunt down the rim, John Carlson was backhanding the puck to the point.
Marcus Johansson hustled past Daniel Paille to track down Carlson’s pass, then spotted Hamrlik open at the left point. Rask got a piece of Hamrlik’s shot, but Perreault jumped on the rebound and tapped the puck in at 7:18.
The Bruins managed only eight third-period shots on Vokoun. The Washington goalie turned them all back.
“I think, to a man, everybody could have been a little better,’’ said Shawn Thornton. “I think there was some poor execution. I don’t know if we had everyone going for the last 20.’’