PROVIDENCE, R.I. — For Brad Thiessen and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the old adage that ‘less is more’ came to the forefront last night at the Dunkin ‘ Donuts Center.
In nearly every statistical facet, the visiting Pen’s were outplayed, and at times overwhelmed by a Bruins offense that held a whopping 47-18 shots on goal advantage.
The Penguins became just the fourth team in American Hockey League history to force a seventh game after dropping the first three games of a Calder Cup series with a resolute 2-1 overtime win.
Providence held a 20-2 advantage in shots in the last 20 minutes of play.
“He was exceptional tonight,” said Pens coach John Hynes of Thiessen who improved to 4-1 in the postseason. “We had a lull there where we spent a lot of time in our own zone. The shot clock was high but it wasn’t just the shot clock, it was the quality of shots that he faced. He kept us in it.”
Trevor Smith’s wraparound at 3:26 resolved the deadlock for the Pens who will take on Providence Wednesday night in the deciding game.
“They’re a good team and they held us down (in our zone), but we were able to hold the fort and bide some time to get that big one in OT,” said Thiessen after the emotional victory.
Thiessen entered the night with a 1.08 GAA in five post season appearances.
“They have a real strong offense over there, and he took the game over for us,’ said Smith, who deflected the attention to his net minder.
The Penguins subjected Bruins goalie Niklas Svedberg to a pair of threatening tests in the opening action of the first. Chad Kolarik, who was positioned on the right post was rebuffed on a backhand bid just three minutes in.
Paul Thompson’s searing drive from the top of the left circle midway through the period was collected by the Bruins rookie goaltender to keep the game scoreless. Less than a minute later, the Bruins were within inches of cashing in the game’s opening marker but Jamie Tardif, the B’s second leading playoff goal scorer with seven successes, couldn’t finish on a wide open wraparound.
Providence out shot the visitors 14-10 in the first.
Svedberg began last night’s match up with a .0895 save percentage to go along with a 3.25 GAA.
Providence’s Craig Cunningham finished off a Pens turnover at 1:07 of the second when he scored with helpers from Chris Bourque and Jamie Tardif.
Less than five minutes later, the Penguins working with what began as a favorable 5 on 3 advantage for 33 seconds struck with the game’s sole power play (5-on-4) tally.
Pen’s rookie defenseman Brian Dumoulin’s game-tying wrist shot beat Svedberg a scant two seconds after Bobby Robins hopped on the ice from the penalty box.
Robins offered up another extra man advantage for the Penguins when he received a delay of game call with 12:57 left in regulation. The visitors failed to gain any push on the power play however as they were unable to direct a single shot on Svedberg.
“It was fun,” said Thiessen. “I’m just happy to give my team a chance at game seven.”
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2 (OT) at Providence Bruins 1 - Status: Final OT Monday, May 20, 2013 - Dunkin’ Donuts Center
W-B/Scranton 0 1 0 1 - 2 Providence 0 1 0 0 - 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Spooner Pro (elbowing), 11:25; Payerl Wbs (diving), 18:03; Tardif Pro (hooking), 18:03; Reese Wbs (interference), 18:52.
2nd Period-1, Providence, Cunningham 3 (Tardif, Bourque), 1:07. 2, W-B/Scranton, Dumoulin 2 (Nesbitt, Smith), 6:03 (PP). Penalties-Spooner Pro (delay of game), 1:44; Robins Pro (slashing), 4:01; Miller Pro (high-sticking), 5:39; Payerl Wbs (roughing), 7:54; Peters Wbs (cross-checking), 19:05.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Robins Pro (delay of game), 6:03.
OT Period-3, W-B/Scranton, Smith 3 (Grant), 3:26. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 10-3-2-3-18. Providence 14-13-20-0-47. Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 1 / 5; Providence 0 / 3. Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Thiessen 4-1-0 (47 shots-46 saves). Providence, Svedberg 6-5-0 (18 shots-16 saves). A-3,122 Referees-Graham Skilliter (48), Mark Lemelin (41). Linesmen-Bob Bernard (42), Alex Stagnone (7).