PROVIDENCE, R.I.— It would be easy to forgive Penguins head coach John Hynes if the enormity of his team’s latest accomplishment had not yet sunk in.
But within moments after his club had sealed an improbable feat by coming back from a three-game deficit in taking a 5-0 win over the Providence Bruins last night, he faced the media presence with his relevance of his role in history.
“It’s important that we leave a legacy,” he said.
The Penguins thus became the third team in the American Hockey League’s long and storied past by dropping the first three contests of a seven game set only to advance forward.
“It was really special and difficult to do. Anytime you can be in sports and make history it’s something that teams are going to be looking at it. It speaks volumes about this group.”
The Pens received goals from five different players in the win that saw the Penguins score four times in the second.
The Bruins previously vaunted power play stalled out to their detriment, going 0-for-7.
In spite of a quickly-paced opening period, the two clubs failed to etch their mark on the scoreboard. Quality chances on both sides were evident however.
Nine minutes in, the Penguins Brian Gibbons nearly solved Niklas Svedberg when he took a feed from just inside the Bruins zone and moved in on the rookie before deciding on a backhand finish that the 23-year old Swede turned away.
Chad Kolarik set the wheels in motion for the Pens newly minted signature comeback when he persisted in a power play scrum near the post to the left of Svedberg and forced home the initial goal at 4:44. Chris Bourgue’s slashing offense at 3:30 undermined the Bruins cause.
The Pens were successful in burning off a pair of Bruins power plays in the first period. On the Bruins second go-around with a man up, coach Hynes’ PK unit allowed a lone, relatively innocuous shot on Thiessen.
Warren Peters doubled the score with 6:56 left in the period as he redirected a Joey Mormina drive from the point that eluded Svedberg.
“There’s a lot of strong emotions right now,” said Peters in the midst of a noisy post game celebration. “It sounds like a cliché but because we just focused staying alive one day at a time, I guess we never really looked at the big picture. We didn’t think that we were that far away after game three. We showed signs and that gave us some confidence.”
For a brief stretch after Peter’s goal, the Bruins displayed a significant jump in their game but Thiessen held serve in the net.
Thiessen finished with 34 saves in a perfect complement to his game six overtime outing.
WBS furthered its cause to bolt out of the capital city with a momentous victory by capping the middle period with two scores in a span of 2:01.
“We didn’t get to our chances, “ said Providence head coach Bruce Cassidy. “Let’s face it, we didn’t play our best. We weren’t scoring goals and that doesn’t get it done.”
Adam Payerl notched his second goal of the Calder Cup playoffs at 15:14 and was followed by Zach Sill whose tally made the score 4-0.
“It’s a good feeling,” said Payerl. “Every day it’s been going pretty quick. Six days ago we were down 3-0. It’s good to have that done. We’re lucky to have come out on top.”