The Boston Bruins will look for a return to normalcy when they host the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.
The Bruins are coming off a 7-1 loss to the visiting Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, their largest setback since an 8-1 defeat to the Capitals on April 11.
The loss ended Boston's five-game winning streak, which included a 7-3 victory in Washington on Jan. 10.
"We wouldn't have been good enough against the worst team in the league," Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We just didn't compete."
Boston allowed five goals in the first period for the first time since March 3, 2008, and goalie Tuukka Rask got pulled after allowing those five goals on just 12 shots.
Rask, the winningest goalie in franchise history, was playing in his second game after missing six months because of hip surgery.
"It's gone, gone already," Rask said of his performance. "One thing you learn over the years is you're never as bad, or as good, as you think."
The Capitals should arrive in Boston in an upbeat mood after beating the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday, their first win this season during the five-minute extra session.
Washington had lost the previous nine games that ended past regulation this season.
"It's nice to get one," Washington coach Peter Laviolette said of the overtime win. "It took a while. We shouldn't be at the (overtime) record that we're at, but we are. I thought it was good to get one in the win column."
Tom Wilson scored 26 seconds into overtime against the Jets to give him goals in three straight games.
The Capitals had taken a 3-2 lead early in the third period on the third goal of the season by rookie Aliaksei Protas, who was playing on the second line with Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom.
Laviolette has been impressed with the work ethic of Protas, a third-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, who turned 21 on Jan. 6.
"Sometimes, we forget how young he is, but you see him in a game like (Tuesday) night and you're like, 'He could be something,'" Laviolette said.
Superstar captain Alex Ovechkin also has a goal in three straight games and points in six in a row. He led the NHL with 27 goals entering Wednesday's action.
The Capitals might get T.J. Oshie back from an upper-body injury that kept him out of the 4-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday and the win against the Jets.
Oshie finished second on the Capitals with 22 goals last season.
John Carlson and Conor Sheary remain in the NHL's COVID-19 protocol, but the Capitals got Dmitry Orlov and Carl Hagelin off the list in time to play against Winnipeg.
Orlov had a goal and an assist against the Jets.
For Boston, Linus Ullmark relieved Rask and allowed two goals on 22 shots over the final two periods on Tuesday.
It was too late to salvage a point by then.
"I think you've got to burn the tape," captain Patrice Bergeron said. "That was not our team. It was just flat and there was no execution."
--Field Level Media