Zane McIntyre made 50 saves and Danton Heinen scored twice as the Providence Bruins knocked off the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, 2-1, in the fifth and deciding game of their Atlantic Division semifinal series on Sunday afternoon.
The Bruins became the first team since the Cornwall Aces in 1995-96 to eliminate the AHL’s regular-season champions in the first round of the playoffs. Providence also gained a measure of revenge after being ousted by the Penguins in 2013, 2014 and 2016.
McIntyre was brilliant in Game 5, allowing only a power-play goal to Jean-Sebastien Dea with 5:23 left in regulation. McIntyre stopped 21 shots in the first period, nine in the second and 20 more in the third and finished the series with a .936 save percentage — including a .963 mark over the final two games while facing elimination.
Heinen’s goals were his third and fourth of the series. Jordan Szwarz assisted on both.
Providence was 1-for-3 on the power play in Game 5, and finished the series 6-for-22 (27.3 percent) against a Penguins club that led the AHL in penalty killing in the regular season.
McIntyre’s 50 saves were the most by an AHL goaltender to win a potential elimination game since May 22, 2011 (Drew MacIntyre, 57 saves, Hamilton at Houston Game 6, 2OT).
Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “A” (best-of-5)
A1-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins vs. A4-Providence Bruins
Game 1 – Fri., Apr. 21 – PROVIDENCE 2, W-B/Scranton 1
Game 2 – Sun., Apr. 23 – W-B/Scranton 6, PROVIDENCE 5 (OT)
Game 3 – Thu., Apr. 27 – W-B/SCRANTON 2, Providence 1
Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 28 – Providence 4, W-B/SCRANTON 2
Game 5 – Sun., Apr. 30 – Providence 2, W-B/SCRANTON 1