Two quick goals in the first period set the tone as the Syracuse Crunch doubled up the Portland Pirates, 4-2, in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series on Sunday night.
Coupled with Saturday’s overtime win, the Crunch now have a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series with Game 3 scheduled for Thursday night in Portland.
Syracuse, which never led in Game 1 until Richard Panik‘s overtime goal capped a comeback from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits, broke out to an early cushion on Sunday as Ondrej Palat and J.T. Brown scored 68 seconds apart midway through the first period.
Portland had a chance to cut the deficit in half on a power play that spanned the end of the first period and the start of the second. But instead, Tyler Johnson‘s shorthanded goal 49 seconds into the middle frame gave Syracuse a 3-0 lead, and Brett Connolly upped it to 4-0 with 5:24 left in the second.
Chad Johnson finished with 30 saves for the Pirates.