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Washington Capitals edge Boston Bruins in pre-postseason warmup

May 11, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Chris Wagner (14) falls over Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek (41) while Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) controls the puck in the second period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Raffl scored with three seconds remaining as the host Washington Capitals defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 Tuesday night in the regular-season finale for both teams, who will meet in the opening round of the NHL’s East Division playoffs.

Carl Hagelin also scored for the Capitals (36-15-5, 77 points), who finished second in the division. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 24 saves.

Curtis Lazar scored for third-place Boston (33-16-7, 73 points), and Jeremy Swayman stopped 30 of 32 shots.

The teams, who were already locked into their playoff positions, took much different lineup approaches in the warmup act before Game 1 on Saturday in Washington.

The Capitals played most of their regulars, including forward Alex Ovechkin, who had missed seven of the previous eight games with a lower-body injury.

In contrast, the Bruins employed a lineup that would’ve been more likely to play at their American Hockey League affiliate in Providence, R.I., this season rather than suit up in the NHL. Eight of Boston’s top nine forwards didn’t make the trip, nor did its top six defensemen and starting goaltender Tuukka Rask.

On the winning goal, Raffl took a pass from Justin Schultz and drove to the goal line on the left wing before firing a sharp-angle shot that sailed just behind Swayman’s head and into the top far corner of the net.

The Bruins broke a scoreless tie at 10:11 of the second period. Defenseman Jarred Tinordi jumped into the rush, took a pass from Jake DeBrusk at the top of the right faceoff circle and drove it nearly to the goal line before shuffling a backhanded pass to the top of the crease. Lazar settled the puck with his left skate and batted it into the net.

The Capitals tied the score at 16:15 of the second. Zdeno Chara’s shot from the left point was knocked down before it got to Swayman, prompting a mad scramble in front of the net. Hagelin was able to find the puck and chip it over the goaltender’s stick. Garnet Hathaway also received an assist on the play.

–Field Level Media