PROVIDENCE, R.I.—The Providence Bruins rode a four-goal first period to a 4-2 win over the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins in Game Two of their Calder Cup playoff series.
Providence, the regular season champion who amassed 105 points, gained a 2-0 series lead against the Penguins, who had dropped a robust 8-5 contest on Friday night.
The Pens calmed the host teams’ offense for the majority of the final two periods, but all of what the Bruins need to secure the win was achieved in the early going.
WBS finished with 40 shots on goal to the Bruins 29.
“The game was more five-on-five and I think that was the big difference between the first and second period,” said Pens head coach John Hynes. “That (power play) was where they gained a little bit of momentum. We were doing some good things on five-on-five then the referees got involved, and when that happened that became a power play, penalty kill scrimmage.”
Providence connected on four of eight extra man opportunities through five periods of play in their match up with WBS.
In what would prove to be the first instance of an unsettling trend for Hynes’ club in the first, the Pens were working a man down as a result of a Joey Mormina roughing call at 4:25. Warren Peters, however, appeared to put the Pens in good stead when he hacked at and subsequently scored on a rebound down low in tight on Svedberg 15 seconds later.
Peters’ shorthanded goal, his second overall of the Calder Cup playoffs, certainly fired up the Bruins, who replied with a four-goal outburst.
Providence’s Chris Bourque figured in three of his club’s four goals in the first.
Jamie Tardif collected his sixth score of the postseason as the Bruins were working on a 5-on-3 advantage at 11:24. Bourque and Carter Camper each offered up helpers to Tardif who evened the score at 1-1 with the positive result.
The Bruins first-period offensive outburst prompted Hynes to pull Zatkoff from the net in favor of Brad Thiessen to open the second. Thiessen last saw play in the 3-2, series clinching victory against the Binghamton Senators May 2.
WBS edged closer in the latter portion of the second when Mormina’s original drive from the point ricocheted off Bruins goalie Niklas Svedberg and eventually found its way onto the stick of Brian Gibbons, who took advantage of the opportunity in narrowing the Bruins edge to 4-2.
The visitors had seen the clock tick down to 33 seconds remaining on the man advantage before Gibbons produced. For the Boston College product, it was his third score of the postseason.
“We like where we are game is at,” said Hynes in post game thoughts. “We knew we had to compete at a certain level and although we didn’t get the end result, we did that.”
Tardif’s second goal of the game, the second power play of the second for Providence gave the home club a 3-1 edge.
Zatkoff finished with 9 saves in the first while Thiessen was adept at tempering the Bruins offensive efforts in stopping all 16 shots he faced.
“Brad did a good job,” said Hynes. “I wouldn’t say that the reason we were down was Jeff’s fault but I thought our overall game was better after we made the goal change. It was a team effort (the last two periods).”
W-B/Scranton 1 1 0 - 2
Providence 4 0 0 - 4
1st Period-1, W-B/Scranton, Peters 2 4:40 (SH). 2, Providence, Tardif 6 (Camper, Bourque), 5:48 (PP). 3, Providence, Spooner 2 (Bourque, Tardif), 11:24. 4, Providence, Tardif 7 (Krug, Cunningham), 17:25 (PP). 5, Providence, Bourque 5 (Tardif, Cross), 19:31. Penalties-Robins Pro (interference), 0:32; Mormina Wbs (roughing), 4:25; Samuelsson Wbs (slashing), 4:57; Gibbons Wbs (hooking), 13:17; Gibbons Wbs (tripping), 15:52.
2nd Period-6, W-B/Scranton, Gibbons 3 (Thompson, Mormina), 14:47 (PP). Penalties-Caron Pro (goaltender interference), 12:50.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Dumoulin Wbs (roughing), 7:16; Caron Pro (roughing), 7:16; Samuelsson Wbs (charging), 8:54; Peters Wbs (high-sticking), 10:42; Tardif Pro (hooking), 14:44.
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 15-6-19-40. Providence 13-11-5-29.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 1 / 3; Providence 2 / 6.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Zatkoff 2-1-0 (13 shots-9 saves); Thiessen 1-0-0 (16 shots-16 saves). Providence, Svedberg 4-2-0 (40 shots-38 saves).
Referees-Darcy Burchell (42), Jean Hebert (43).
Linesmen-Kiel Murchison (79), Alex Stagnone (7).