Boston Bruins defeat Washington Capitals, 3-1

WASHINGTON — The assist came in the first period, a chip from the defensive zone that led to a two-on-one rush for his linemates.

The goal came later in the first, when he gained net-front position and shoveled in the rebound of a Johnny Boychuk wrister.

Then in the third, to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick, the fight just happened, said Milan Lucic.

Maybe by coincidence, or maybe not, it turned out that his combatant was a guy he’d been itching to visit.

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WASHINGTON — Last year, when Daniel Paille started the season in Buffalo as a healthy scratch for the first four games, the left wing couldn’t get an explanation from coach Lindy Ruff or general manager Darcy Regier on where he stood in the organization. On Oct. 20, Paille learned the hard way how the Sabres viewed him when he was traded to the Bruins.

This year, as a healthy scratch for the last three games, Paille doesn’t feel like it’s a repeat of 2009-10.