Analysis of the Capitals’ 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins Thursday night at TD Garden:
How it happened: After a scoreless first period the Bruins received second-period goals from Gregory Campbell and Loui Eriksson, then finished off the Caps with an empty netter by Brad Marchand. It marked the third straight loss for the Caps and the fifth time they’ve been shut out this season.
What it means: The Caps remain two points behind the New York Rangers for third place in the Metropolitan Division standings and one behind the eighth-place Columbus Blue Jackets. But the Caps have played one more game than the Rangers, two more than the Blue Jackets and three more than the Detroit Red Wings, who are tied with the Caps with 68 points.
Magic number: If the Caps hope to hit that magical 92 points, the projected minimum to get into the playoffs, they would need to go 11-5-2 in their final 18 games.
Shooting blanks: The Capitals were outshot 43-16, their most lopsided shooting margin of the season. Through two periods the Caps were outshot 21-6. The game was also just the second NHL game this season to go without a penalty.
Hard-luck loser: Braden Holtby stopped 42 shots but was credit with his first career loss against the Bruins. He was awarded the game’s third star.
Kuznetsov one step closer: The KHL announced earlier on Thursday that Evgeny Kuznetsov’s contract with Traktor Chelyabinsk has been terminated, opening the door for the Capitals to sign the 21-year-old left-shooting center. Caps GM George McPhee has remained silent on his talks with Kuznetsov, but it could be only a matter of days that Kuznetsov is practicing with the team.
What’s next: The Capitals practice at Kettler Friday at 11 a.m. They return to game action Saturday night at home against Marty Erat, Mike Ribeiro, Jeff Halpern and the Phoenix Coyotes.