This one was more like it.
A defensive battle of wits between the leagues top two teams on defense sees the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins best the Providence Bruins in Game 3 of the Atlantic Division Semifinal by a final score of 2-1. The Penguins can close out the series Friday night at home at 7:05.
It was a game decided with all three goals scored on the power play. The Penguins leaders stepped up in a big way as well as Kevin Porter and David Warsofsky continued to terrorize the Providence Bruins.
Casey DeSmith opposed Zane McIntyre.
…lazy legged by the blogger on a work night. No lineup changes for the Penguins.
First Period: Great period for Wilkes-Barre who out hit the Bruins, winning nearly every board battle and outshot the Bruins 13-5. Period was marred by two penalties taken by Wilkes-Barre, but overall a clean, nearly perfect period by the Penguins.
Second Period: Tension mounting, McIntyre making huge saves with all ends of his body. Penguins had chance after chance and a few power plays and finally cracked the Bruins goaltender with a power play goal by Tim Erixon with :16 left to play in the period.
There was some confusion after Sean Kuraly and Oskar Sundqvist engaged in a tussle. Kuraly was the aggressor and Sundqvist wasn’t tied down. Normally with two willing combatants, the guy who doesn’t have the fight strap is tossed from the game. We were all fooled at the time, because of the aggressor, the fight strap violation is nullified.
Third Period: After a fight between Tom Sestito and Tyler Randell :07 in then an Alex Grant hold seconds after that, David Warsofsky stepped into this one giving the Penguins a 2-0 lead.
Bruins were coming unraveled at this point, taking a penalty for closing the hand on the puck. Penguins could have iced the game away here but couldn’t add a third goal.
Head Coach Clark Donatelli used his coaches challenge on a Tim Erixon shot that hit the post on replay. Penguins lost their time out as a result.
Penguins had to kill off a double minor when Josh Archibald clipped Peter Mueller with a high stick. Jordan Szwarz scored on the back end of the double minor with 6:35 left to play to cut it to one.
Penguins played park the bus at this point, didn’t let the Bruins get any sustained offensive zone time and Providence, with McIntyre pulled, never found the equalizer.
Three Stars: 3) Casey DeSmith (32 saves on 33 shots) 2) Tim Erixon (power play goal, even) 1) David Warsofsky (power play game winning goal, even)
Around the Eastern Conference: Everyone else’s Game 3’s were Wednesday and they will all require a Game 4. Lehigh Valley avoids the sweep with a win in overtime in Hershey 2-1, Syracuse pushes St. John’s to the brink with a 3-2 win and Toronto did the same to Albany in overtime 3-2. Game 4 goes for all Friday but for the Bears and Phantoms which goes on Saturday.
Sprong Watch: Daniel Sprong’s Charlottetown Islanders team is in a hole after losing to Blainville-Boisbriand 4-2 on Wednesday. The Islanders are down 3-1 in the best of seven series with Game 5 going on Saturday. They will be without Sprong for that game as he was suspended for a hit in Game 4 and will miss Game 5.
Game 4 between Pens and Bruins goes tomorrow here in Wilkes-Barre at 7:05. Gameday setup hits the blog Friday at 3.
Let’s Go Pens!