Jake Guentzel scored 13:52 into the second overtime period as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton completed an improbable first-round sweep of the Providence Bruins with a 5-4 victory on Saturday night.
The Penguins won all three games of the series in extra time, sweeping away a Bruins team that had the best record in the AHL since Jan. 1.
Guentzel’s game-winning goal capped a four-point night for the 21-year-old winger, who joined the Penguins after completing his junior season at the University of Nebraska-Omaha last month.
Daniel Sprong, the Game 2 OT hero, had a goal and an assist in Game 3, Tim Erixon added a goal and two assists and Dominik Simon netted his first goal of the series as the Pens appeared to be on their way to an easy victory with a 4-1 lead through 40 minutes.
But defensemen Chris Breen and Tommy Cross scored to pull the Bruins back to within 4-3, and Austin Czarnik scored his second goal of the night with 3:59 left in regulation to tie the score. All three games of the series saw one of the teams give up a lead of at least two goals.
Casey DeSmith (3-0), who entered the postseason with six games of AHL experience, made a franchise record 59 saves for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, including 18 in sudden death.
Jeremy Smith (0-3) came on in relief after Zane McIntyre allowed four goals on 13 shots through two periods and made 23 saves the rest of the way but fell to 2-7 in his AHL career in playoff OT games.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will take on either Hershey or Portland in the second round.
— AHL (@TheAHL) April 24, 2016
Atlantic Division Semifinals – Series “B” (best-of-5)
A2-Providence Bruins vs. A3-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 20 – W-B/SCRANTON 3, Providence 2 (OT)
Game 2 – Thu., Apr. 21 – W-B/SCRANTON 4, Providence 3 (OT)
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 23 – W-B/Scranton 5, PROVIDENCE 4 (2OT)