Special teams power WBS Pens to a 2-1 win over Providence in Game 3

By Tom Venesky - [email protected] | April 27th, 2017 11:41 pm

Tom Venesky | Times Leader

Atlantic Division Semifinals

Game 3 (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton leads series 2-1)

Penguins 2, Providence 1

Providence`0`0`1` —`1

Penguins`0`1`1` —`2

First Period

Scoring – None. Penalties — WBS, Dea (interference) 5:09; WBS, Haggerty (hooking) 19:01.

Second Period

Scoring – 1. WBS, Tim Erixon 1 (Simon, Porter) power play 19:43. Penalties — PRO, Kuraly (instigating, fighting, misconduct) 2:58; WBS, Sundqvist (fighting) 2:58; PRO, O’Gara (cross-checking) 9:20; WBS, Blueger (boarding) 14:05; PRO, Randell (high-sticking) 18:04

Third Period

Scoring – 2. WBS, David Warsofsky 3 (Porter) power play 1:32. 3. PRO, Jordan Szwarz 1 (Cave, Heinen) power play 13:25. Penalties — PRO, Randell (fighting) :07; WBS, Sestito (fighting) :07; PRO, Grant (holding) :31; PRO, Kuraly (closing hand on puck) 2:06; WBS, Archibald (high-sticking - double minor) 10:46.

Shots on goal

Providence – 5-12-16-33

Penguins – 13-13-6-32

Power-play Opportunities

Providence – 1 of 5

Penguins – 2 of 5

Goaltenders

Providence - Zane McIntyre 1-1-1 (30 saves-32 shots)

Penguins – Casey DeSmith 2-1-0 (32-33)

Starters

Providence – G Zane McIntyre, D Tommy Cross, Rob O’Gara, LW Anton Blidh, C Colby Cave, RW Tyler Randell

Penguins – G Casey DeSmith, D Barry Goers, D Derrick Pouliot, LW Tom Sestito, C Kevin Porter, RW Tom Kostopoulos

Three Stars

1. WBS, David Warsofsky (game-winning goal) 2. WBS, Tim Erixon (goal) 3. WBS, Casey DeSmith (one goal allowed, 32 saves)

Referee – Olivier Gouin, Evgenii Romasko. Linesmen – Kory Nagy, Francois Dussureault

Attendance – 4,272

WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Game 3 of the Atlantic Division semifinals was exactly what Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins head coach Clark Donatelli expected.

Goals were few and far between, special teams were key and Casey DeSmith was stellar in net. It all added up to a 2-1 Penguins win over the Providence Bruins and a 2-1 series lead with a chance to win it on Friday.

“Providence is good defensively. We expected a close game and it was exactly that,” Donatelli said. “Our approach tomorrow is the same. It’s just another game, but it’s an important game.”

DeSmith stopped 32 shots and the Penguins power play struck twice with goals by Tim Erixon and David Warsofsky. In fact, the Bruins scored their lone goal on the power play as all three tallies in the game came with the man advantage.

Erixon’s power play goal late in the second period allowed the Penguins to carry a one goal lead into the third, and Warsofsky’s blast from the top early in the third gave them a two-goal cushion that would be crucial.

“That second goal was huge, getting that little bit of breathing room,” DeSmith said.

The Penguins had the better first period, outshooting the Bruins 13-5 despite spotting Providence two power plays.

The offense continued to click in the second period, generating shots on Bruins goaltender Zane McIntyre consistently.

But it wasn’t until the Penguins’ third power play — late in the period — when they were finally able to beat McIntyre.

Erixon gained the puck in the top of the slot, faked a shot as a Bruins defender slid down for the block and then skated to an open lane for a shot through traffic.

The goal came with 17 seconds left in the period, and the Penguins had 20 minutes to protect a 1-0 lead.

The Bruins unraveled a bit to start the third period after a spirited scrap between Tom Sestito and Tyler Randell seven seconds after the opening faceoff.

Seconds later, Bruins defenseman Alex Grant went to the box for holding, and on the ensuing power play Kevin Porter drew the puck back to Warsofsky, who blasted a shot that beat McIntyre to give the Penguins a 2-0 lead.

“We knew there was a lot of time left. We had to keep going,” Donatelli said. “It wasn’t going to stay 2-0.”

Providence went to the box again less than two minutes later for a faceoff violation, and while the Penguins didn’t score, the power play used up precious time for Providence.

The Bruins made it interesting with less than seven minutes remaining when Josh Archibald went off for a high-sticking double minor, and Providence scored on the second half of the power play to make it 2-1.

“We knew they were going to push hard. When they got that four-minute power play, it was going to be a tough kill so it was nice to have that second goal,” DeSmith said.

In the closing minutes, Providence pulled McIntyre in an attempt to tie it up. But the Penguins defense limited any Bruins chances as the Penguins maintained the lead.

DeSmith said his team’s ability to close the game out was impressive.

“That’s what playoff hockey is — blocking shots, eating pucks in the corner, taking hits and getting the puck out. The little things,” DeSmith said.

Now that the Penguins just need to win one of the next two games — both at home — to clinch the series. And the approach isn’t changing.

“Same as it was tonight,” DeSmith said about the possibility of clinching the series with a Game 4 win on Friday. “That’s always the goal. It’s something to work towards.”

For other sports stories, click here.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Jarrett Burton handles the puck on the goal line on Thursday night.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_TTL042817Pens2.jpgWilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Jarrett Burton handles the puck on the goal line on Thursday night. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Penguins captain Tom Kostopoulos skates around a group of Bruins players in Thursday’s playoff game.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_TTL042817Pens3.jpgPenguins captain Tom Kostopoulos skates around a group of Bruins players in Thursday’s playoff game. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Jarrett Burton braces for a hit in the corner after passing the puck against Providence on Thursday.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_TTL042817Pens4.jpgJarrett Burton braces for a hit in the corner after passing the puck against Providence on Thursday. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Penguins forwards Jean-Sebastien Dea (center) and Dominik Simon (right) battle for control of the puck with Chris Breen of Providence in Thursday night’s playoff game at Mohegan Sun Arena.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_TTL042817Pens1.jpgPenguins forwards Jean-Sebastien Dea (center) and Dominik Simon (right) battle for control of the puck with Chris Breen of Providence in Thursday night’s playoff game at Mohegan Sun Arena. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

By Tom Venesky

[email protected]

Atlantic Division Semifinals

Game 3 (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton leads series 2-1)

Penguins 2, Providence 1

Providence`0`0`1` —`1

Penguins`0`1`1` —`2

First Period

Scoring – None. Penalties — WBS, Dea (interference) 5:09; WBS, Haggerty (hooking) 19:01.

Second Period

Scoring – 1. WBS, Tim Erixon 1 (Simon, Porter) power play 19:43. Penalties — PRO, Kuraly (instigating, fighting, misconduct) 2:58; WBS, Sundqvist (fighting) 2:58; PRO, O’Gara (cross-checking) 9:20; WBS, Blueger (boarding) 14:05; PRO, Randell (high-sticking) 18:04

Third Period

Scoring – 2. WBS, David Warsofsky 3 (Porter) power play 1:32. 3. PRO, Jordan Szwarz 1 (Cave, Heinen) power play 13:25. Penalties — PRO, Randell (fighting) :07; WBS, Sestito (fighting) :07; PRO, Grant (holding) :31; PRO, Kuraly (closing hand on puck) 2:06; WBS, Archibald (high-sticking - double minor) 10:46.

Shots on goal

Providence – 5-12-16-33

Penguins – 13-13-6-32

Power-play Opportunities

Providence – 1 of 5

Penguins – 2 of 5

Goaltenders

Providence - Zane McIntyre 1-1-1 (30 saves-32 shots)

Penguins – Casey DeSmith 2-1-0 (32-33)

Starters

Providence – G Zane McIntyre, D Tommy Cross, Rob O’Gara, LW Anton Blidh, C Colby Cave, RW Tyler Randell

Penguins – G Casey DeSmith, D Barry Goers, D Derrick Pouliot, LW Tom Sestito, C Kevin Porter, RW Tom Kostopoulos

Three Stars

1. WBS, David Warsofsky (game-winning goal) 2. WBS, Tim Erixon (goal) 3. WBS, Casey DeSmith (one goal allowed, 32 saves)

Referee – Olivier Gouin, Evgenii Romasko. Linesmen – Kory Nagy, Francois Dussureault

Attendance – 4,272

Reach Tom Venesky at 570-991-6395 or on Twitter @TomVenesky

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