Boudreau returns to Washington for first time on opposing bench
Bruce Boudreau said he was “nervous as all get out” when Bob MacDonald finished the final cords of the national anthem and the sellout crowd at Verizon Center worked itself into a frenzy.
But once he and the Anaheim Ducks settled down, they methodically climbed their way out of a two-goal deficit to beat the Capitals in the Washington homecoming for the 58-year-old coach.
“I thought our guys were really good after the first 10 minutes,” Boudreau said after the Ducks ran their win streak to nine games with a 3-2 win over the Capitals.
“I think they were trying hard and I think they were a little nervous in the beginning, but once we got our legs going, I thought we shut them down pretty good except for that almost goal there at the end.”
That “almost goal” was an Alex Ovechkin howitzer that rang off the crossbar with 3:10 remaining in regulation.
Boudreau seemed more satisfied than excited about his homecoming win in Washington, where he led the Capitals to four straight Southeast Division titles before being fired and hired by the Ducks two days later in 2011.
“In the scheme of things, I’m more happy we kept the streak alive,” he said. “Fifty-nine points after 39 games is a pretty cool feat for what we’ve gone through. The players deserve all the credit, and it was nice in front of the crowd here. There was a lot of red out there.”
Anaheim defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who pumped the winning goal past Capitals rookie netminder Philipp Grubauer with 5:36 remaining in the game, said the Ducvks were well aware of how important the game was to Boudreau.
“It’s fun for Bruce to win against his old team, so it’s just a blast,” Lindholm said. “We just find a way to win instead of finding a way to lose. We have a good team here and we know we can turn around a game. We just believe in the way Bruce wants us to play, and we go out there and do it.”