Capitals beat Bruins 3-1 in possible playoff preview

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The Bruins held their "Shirts Off Their Backs" giveaway with the fans after the game. Depending on the Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins will face either Ottawa or Washington.

The Boston Bruins finished their regular season with a 3-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden.

That's precisely why the Bruins want to avoid them in the playoffs.

"We're not going to get to choose regardless, so we can kind of sit back and we've got our 82 in before anybody else", Bruins forward David Backes said. "We were just playing trying to play the right way", Washington coach Barry Trotz said after the game.

Backup Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves for the Capitals, who won for the 10th time in their last 11 games.

Undeterred, the Capitals made it a two-goal game with 50 seconds to go in the second, as a slick passing sequence engineered by Nate Schmidt and Evgeny Kuznetsov led to a one-timer strike from Williams.

Earlier Saturday, Ottawa beat the Rangers 3-1 to reach 98 points with one game remaining and clinch the No. 2 spot in the Atlantic Division. They will likely play either Toronto or Boston, but the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders could be in the mix if the Maple Leafs drop their final two games. "So, we're able to sit back and watch a little bit and tally them up at the end, with maybe a day and a half of rest on whomever we're playing". "That's all we can do".

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- Toronto controls its first-round opponent and playoff path Sunday and would face the Senators if it gets at least a point against Columbus.

Anton Khudobin surrendered three goals on 24 shots before Tuukka Rask took over at the start of the third period. The team said Khudobin wasn't feeling well. Rask stopped eight shots over the final 20 minutes of play.

The Bruins finally put themselves on the board with 4:47 remaining in the second period, with Miller ripping home his sixth goal of the season.

"It was a good response from us", Williams said.

Williams, who caused a goal to be disallowed because he was in the crease, followed 3:01 later to make it 3-1.

NOTES: C Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, signed recently by the Bruins, made his National Hockey League debut because Brad Marchand is suspended and Noel Acciari is injured.

RW Frank Vatrano, who missed four games with an upper-body injury, returned to action Thursday. Boston rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo left the team's loss to the Capitals on Saturday after being injured on a hit by Alex Ovechkin. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was a luxury suite for the game. The Caps, who host the Florida Panthers on Sunday, were missing D John Carlson (lower body) and RW Brett Connolly (illness). A regulation loss sends the Maple Leafs to Washington and the brutal Metropolitan Division side of the draw and the Bruins to Ottawa.

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