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East Recaps: Bears, Pens, Pack take 2-0 series leads

HERSHEY 6, PHILADELPHIA 2
Hershey racked up six unanswered goals to run away with a 6-2 road win over Philadelphia at the Wachovia Spectrum on Saturday and a 2-0 lead in their East Division semifinal heading home for the next three games, if needed.

Looking to even the series, the Phantoms jumped to a quick 2-0 advantage when ex-Bear Boyd Kane scored 53 seconds in and rookie Patrick Maroon followed at 6:42.

But the Bears knotted it up on a pair of goals by defensemen, as captain Bryan Helmer scored at 11:03 of the first and Staffan Kronwall on the power play 14:58 into the second.

A 60-goal scorer in the regular season, Alexandre Giroux potted his first of the playoffs at 2:27 of the third stanza to give the Bears the lead for good. Mathieu Perreault, Steve Pinizzotto, and Francois Bouchard tacked on tallies for Hershey.

Keith Aucoin, Chris Bourque, and Oskar Osala all posted two assists for the Bears, and goaltender Michal Neuvirth made 25 saves in the win.

The teams have three days off before Game 3 goes on Wednesday in Hershey. Game 4 is set for next Friday, also in Hershey.


HARTFORD 5, WORCESTER 3
Hartford netted a pair of third-period goals to emerge with a 5-3 win over Worcester at the XL Center on Saturday, claiming a 2-0 lead in the teams’ Atlantic Division semifinal.

Artem Anisimov, Jordan Owens, and defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti all scored to give the Wolf Pack a 3-0 lead just 12:01 into the contest, and Hartford held that edge into the first intermission despite being outshot by a 22-8 margin.

The Sharks put 19 more shots on Hartford goaltender Matt Zaba in the middle period and finally broke through. Brendan Buckley and Andrew Desjardins scored just 29 seconds apart, and Riley Armstrong tied it on the power play with 6:20 to go in the period.

But Hartford’s Mike Ouellette broke the deadlock 2:23 into the third, and Mark Bell added an empty-net marker at 19:55.

Zaba finished with 44 saves on the night and has stopped 82 of 85 shots (.965) through the first two games of the series.

The scene shifts to Worcester for Game 3 on Monday evening.


WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 5, BRIDGEPORT 4 (OT)
Chris Minard scored 4:54 into overtime as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took a 5-4 win over Bridgeport on Saturday at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island.

The Penguins now own a 2-0 lead in the series, with Game 3 set for Sunday afternoon in Wilkes-Barre.

Dustin Jeffrey netted a pair of first-period goals to give the Penguins a 2-1 advantage, with a Michael Haley tally from Bridgeport in between.

But the Sound Tigers then raced out to a 4-2 lead on first-period goals from Kyle Okposo and Mike Iggulden, and a second-period marker by Jesse Joensuu.

A pair of defensemen tied it for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the third, as Andy Wozniewski lit the lamp at 6:11, and Ben Lovejoy tallied the equalizer unassisted at 8:13 before assisting on Minard’s winner in overtime.

Penguins goaltender John Curry earned the victory with 33 saves, as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton claimed its first-ever Game 2 win on the road (1-9).