Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, second from right, right wing T.J. Oshie, center, Nicklas Backstrom, second from left, defenseman Brenden Dillon, left, and defenseman Dmitry Orlov celebrate Oshie’s goal against the Boston Bruins during the first period Sunday in Toronto. Cole Burston/The Canadian Press via the Associated Press

TORONTO — T.J. Oshie and Tom Wilson scored, Braden Holtby made 30 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 in round-robin play Sunday to clinch the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and set up a first-round matchup against former coach Barry Trotz’s New York Islanders.

“We know their system well,” captain Alex Ovechkin said. “It’s gonna be tight games, it’s gonna be tough games. It’s not gonna be easy.”

Boston, which won the Presidents’ Trophy as the top team during the NHL regular season that was cut short in March, lost all three of its seeding games and fell to fourth in the East. The Bruins will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round in a rematch of the 2019 East final.

“Our top line, they’ve been held off the score sheet, and I believe it’s going to be a tough task for Carolina to do that on a consistent basis,” Boston Coach Bruce Cassidy said of the trio of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and top goal scorer David Pastrnak. “I think that those guys will be able to get their game going, but we’re going to need that primary scoring.”

Trotz coached Washington to its first Stanley Cup title in franchise history in 2018, then left in a contract dispute. Trotz went to the Islanders, while the Capitals hired his top assistant, Todd Reirden, as head coach. This is the first time they’ve faced off in a playoff series since.

“I think it will be a hell of a series,” Trotz said. “Both teams are well-equipped to go at each other.”

Washington shook off a shootout loss to Tampa Bay and a regulation loss to Philadelphia to continue its years-long dominance of Boston. The Capitals have won 17 of their last 19 games against the Bruins, and by earning the third seed cannot play the top-seeded Flyers until the conference final.

“I think we’re building our game,” Wilson said. “We’re feeling good about it. We’ve got to keep building.”

It’s unclear whether Norris Trophy finalist John Carlson will be ready for Game 1 against the Islanders after missing all of round-robin play because of an injury. The 30-year-old defenseman went down to the ice awkwardly in Washington’s exhibition game vs. Carolina on July 29 and has practiced but not played since.

Jake DeBrusk scored and Tuukka Rask made 23 saves for Boston, which also got an assist from winger Ondrej Kase in his round-robin debut.

STARS 2, BLUES 1: Joe Pavelski tied it with 31.4 seconds left in the third period, Anton Khudobin stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout and Dallas clinched the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.

Denis Gurianov scored the only goal of the shootout, giving the Stars their first win since Feb. 25. Dallas will face Calgary in the first round of the playoffs.

Defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis went winless in the round robin and will next face Vancouver. The Blues dropped from first in the West when the NHL season was halted in March to the conference’s fourth seed.

The Stars played without top center Tyler Seguin and starting goaltender Ben Bishop. The team said they were “unfit to play.”

BLUE JACKETS 3, MAPLE LEAFS 0: Joonas Korpisalo stopped 33 shots and Columbus advanced to the first round of the playoffs with a win over Toronto in Game 5 of their qualifying series.

Zach Werenski’s floater from the left point in the first period held up as the deciding goal. Liam Foudy sneaked in a shot from a bad angle with 8:20 remaining, and captain Nick Foligno scored into an open net with 23 seconds left.

Columbus will meet second-seeded Tampa Bay in a rematch of last year’s first-round series, which the Blue Jackets swept in an upset for their first playoff series victory in franchise history.

Comments are not available on this story.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.