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Scouting the Bruins

With Saturday's 3-2 loss to Toronto significantly reducing their margin for error down the stretch, the Caps begin a challenging week tonight against Tim Thomas and the Boston Bruins, who have won six straight overall, and five in a row in the District, dating back to Dec. 2003.

Just about about everything has been clicking for the Bruins as they push for their first playoff berth since 2004. All-Star center Marc Savard (league high 59 assists) has a racked up a goal and 10 assists in his past seven games, while defenseman Zdeno Chara has shut down some of the game's elite forwards, including Ilya Kovalchuk, Jason Spezza, Vinny Lecavalier, Olli Jokinen and Eric Staal the past six games.

Chara will be asked to do the same against Alex Ovechkin, who snapped a career-long goal drought of seven games against the Maple Leafs with No. 49 on the season. If Ovechkin scores tonight, he'll join Peter Bondra and Dennis Maruk as the only Caps with two 50-goal seasons.

Thomas, though, also might have something to say about that. He is 5-0-1 in his last six decisions and, on the season, has a 2.36 goals against average and a .925 save percentage. But here's the kicker: He's 8-0-1 in nine career games against Washington with a 1.82 and .940 save percentage.

Sound daunting enough for the Caps? The good news for those keeping the faith is that they still haven't lost back-to-back in regulation under Boudreau, a span of 45 games.

I'm expecting Cristobal Huet to get his second start in goal for Washington. As a member of the Canadiens, he was 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals against and a .943 save percentage.

Note:I'm probably going to miss the morning skate, but I'll check in with a lineup and some comments from Coach Boudreau before the game.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 3, 2008; 6:26 AM ET
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