Crunch double up Pirates, take 2-0 lead
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.
The Pirates chipped away at the Crunch lead on goals by Brendan Gormley and Nick Johnson, but Cedrick Desjardins (16 saves) shut the door the rest of the way.
Chad Johnson finished with 30 saves for the Pirates.
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