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P-Bruins edge Pirates, claim 3-1 series lead


PROVIDENCE 2, PORTLAND 1

A pair of second-period goals lifted Providence to a 2-1 road win over Portland at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Thursday in Game 4 of their Atlantic Division semifinal.

Goaltender Tuukka Rask (pictured) made 31 saves for the Bruins, who have now hold a 3-1 series lead and can wrap it up at home on Friday. Providence has captured three consecutive victories after dropping the series-opener on Apr. 15.

The Pirates initially grabbed a 1-0 lead when two-time AHL All-Star Mark Mancari scored his first goal of the postseason 11:55 into the contest. AHL All-Rookie forward Tim Kennedy picked up an assist for his first point of the playoffs, and Marek Zagrapan also earned a helper.

Portland nursed its 1-0 lead for more than a period’s worth of play, but Providence rookie Brad Marchand netted the equalizer at 17:13 of the second frame.

Kirk MacDonald then scored the eventual game-winning goal with just 17 ticks left in the second, with assists going to Jeremy Reich and Wacey Rabbit.

With his 31-save performance in the winning effort, Rask has now stopped 113 of 118 shots (.958) through the first four games of the series. Pirates goaltender Jhonas Enroth made 35 saves in the loss.

The Bruins will attempt to advance to the Atlantic Division Finals for the third straight year and fourth in the last five when they welcome Portland to the Dunkin’ Donuts Center for Game 5 on Friday.