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B’s earn A’s in Game 1 win

Tomas Kurka scored two goals and Hannu Toivonen made 30 saves as Providence rolled past Manchester, 5-1, in Game 1 of their Atlantic Division semifinal series on Friday night.

The division champion Monarchs found themselves in a hole just 7:30 into the contest, with Ben Guite, Kevin Dallman and Dan LaCouture breaking the Bruins out to a 3-0 lead.

Kurka made it 4-0 in the final seconds of the opening period, and added a final insurance tally early in the third.

LaCouture finished with a goal and an assist, and Andrew Albert and Pat Leahy added two assists each for the Bruins.

George Parros scored the lone Monarchs goal.

Mathieu Garon stopped six of the nine shots he faced before yielding to Adam Hauser. Hauser finished with 16 saves.

CINCINNATI 4, MILWAUKEE 3 (2OT)
Joel Stepp scored 4:05 into the second overtime period to give Cincinnati a big 4-3 win over Milwaukee on Friday.

The series is even at 1-1, with Game 3 scheduled for Milwaukee’s Bradley Center on Saturday.

Stepp got the winner after scoring three goals in 63 games during the regular season.

Joffrey Lupul and Zenon Konopka had a goal and an assist for the Mighty Ducks, and Frederic Cassivi finished with 36 saves.

Scottie Upshall scored twice for the Admirals, and rookie defenseman Ryan Suter registered three assists.

ST. JOHN’S 6, MANITOBA 1
Matt Stajan scored twice, Joel Kwiatkowski added three assists and Mikael Tellqvist made 27 saves as St. John’s rolled to a 6-1 win over Manitoba in Game 2 of their North Division semifinal series at Mile One Stadium.

The series is square at one win apiece as the teams head to Winnipeg for Games 3, 4 and 5.

Kyle Wellwood and Brad Leeb added a goal and an assist each for the Maple Leafs. Brett Englehardt and Jason MacDonald also scored.

Danny Groulx tallied the only goal for the Moose, who were outshot 43-28 for the game.

Wade Flaherty made 37 saves but had his postseason winning streak snapped at eight games.

BINGHAMTON 5, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 2
Ray Emery turned aside 33 shots as Binghamton took Game 1 of their East Division semifinal series, 5-2 over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Emery, who was 10-0-2 in his last 12 regular-season decisions, stopped 15 shots in the first period and 14 more in the third.

Jason Spezza, Josh Langfeld and Antoine Vermette had a goal and an assist each to lead the Senators’ offense. Anton Volchenkov added two assists.

Matt Murley and Michel Ouellet scored for the Penguins.

PHILADELPHIA 3, NORFOLK 1
Philadelphia scored three unanswered goals in the second period and held on for a 3-1 win over Norfolk in Game 1 at the Wachovia Center.

After Rene Bourque staked the Admirals to a lead, Ben Stafford, John Slaney and Jon Sim scored to put the Phantoms in front. Patrick Sharp and Dennis Seidenberg had two assists apiece.

Antero Niittymaki earned the win for Philadelphia, making 29 saves. Craig Anderson stopped 30 shots in defeat.

ROCHESTER 2, HAMILTON 1
Rochester became the first team to take a 2-0 series lead this postseason, as Paul Gaustad and Thomas Vanek scored and Ryan Miller made 34 saves in the Amerks’ 2-1 win over Hamilton.

For the second straight game, the Bulldogs took a 1-0 advantage but couldn’t hold on.

Gaustad scored his third goal of the series on a power play 2:40 into the second period, and Vanek got the eventual game-winner less than eight minutes later.

Yann Danis stopped 21 shots for Hamilton, which has lost its last seven playoff meetings with Rochester by a combined score of 22-5.