Smith scores in 2nd OT to lead Bruins past Capitals 3-2

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Boston Bruins right wing Craig Smith, left, is congratulated after his game-winning goal against the Washington Capitals during a second overtime period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series, Wednesday, May 19, 2021, in Boston. The Bruins won 3-2. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BOSTON – Craig Smith has a mantra that he pulled out after scoring the winning goal against Washington on Wednesday night: “I love winning, but I hate waiting.”

The Bruins forward took care of the first part after he'd had plenty of the second, scoring 25:48 into overtime to give Boston a 3-2 victory over the Capitals and a 2-1 lead in their East Division first-round playoff series.

Smith outraced Washington defenseman Justin Schultz to a puck that Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov left behind his net. The Bruins forward swept it around before Samsonov could get back in position to end the third straight overtime game in the series.

“I just tried to jump on it and see if I could create a little bit of a turnover there. They gave me just enough time,” said Smith, who also had an assist. “It just worked out. He was still out of his net trying to get back in, and I just snuck it in there.”

Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall also scored for Boston, and Tuukka Rask stopped 35 shots. The Bruins fell behind 1-0 and 2-1 before twice tying it, taking their only lead on Smith's game-winner.

“We had a lot of good looks and then obviously got a break at the end,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “It’s a second-effort league and that’s how you score. That’s the way goals go in when goalies are on. You need to get two or three whacks at it.”

It was the 11th straight one-goal playoff game between them since 1998.

Game 4 is Friday night in Boston.