The Washington Capitals begin their first round playoff matchup with the Boston Bruins Thursday night at TD Garden. This is the first of many articles over the next few days that will offer everything you need to know on the upcoming series.
We all know how important it is for the star players to step up, but in order to win a playoff series unsung heroes are usually vital in scoring a game winning goal.
Here are some players who are likely to have a big impact on the series outcome.
Alex Ovechkin: The captain willed the Caps into the playoffs by registering 12 goals in the last 16 games dating back to Mar. 8. As a result, Ovi finished in sole possession of fifth place in the NHL with 38 goals scored. He has notched 50 points in 37 career postseason games, including 25 goals. The Caps clearly go as The Great 8 goes; they finished with a 35-7-5 record when their star winger records at least a point.
Mathieu Perreault: The Caps center-turned-winger scored a career high 16 goals this season, and he has been on a torrid pace as of late. Perreault recorded a point in six of the last eight games of the season, which included three goals. He could be one of those players that becomes a household name this playoffs. And remember his hat-trick against the Bruins back on Jan. 25?
Alexander Semin: While the Russian scored a career-low 21 goals, Semin has gotten hot at the right time for the Capitals. You think Perreault is riding a hot streak? Sasha has recorded ten points in his last nine games, and hasn't registered a point in only one of those games. He is currently riding a four game point streak and has two goals in his last three games.
David Krejci: The Bruins center had two points in the month of February. He had 21 points in the 21 games thereafter. Krejci has recorded four multi-point games in his past seven contests. Yeah, he's kinda hot right now.
Patrice Bergeron: With three assists in his last game, Bergeron passed Zdeno Chara for the team-lead in assists. (42) He has six points in his past four games.
Zdeno Chara: The monster defenseman will be tasked with shadowing Ovechkin throughout the series. While he is one of the best defenders in the NHL (if not the best), Chara recently recorded eight assists during a five game point streak. His cannon of a shot from the blueline must be mentioned, as well.
Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Boston Bruins, David Krejci, Hockey, Mathieu Perreault, NHL, Patrice Bergeron, Washington, Washington Capitals, Zdeno Chara