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Thiessen, Penguins push Bruins to limit


Game 6 (OT)

Trevor Smith corraled a loose puck and tucked it in with 3:26 gone in overtime as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins closed in on AHL history with a 2-1 win over the Providence Bruins on Monday night.

The Penguins, who lost the first three games of the series, have forced a Game 7 at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Wednesday (7:05 ET, AHL Live).

Brad Thiessen made 46 saves in a heroic performance for his third consecutive season-saving victory. The Penguins were outshot 47-18 for the game — including 33-5 in the second and third periods combined.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton controlled play early and was credited with seven of the first 10 shots in the game, but Providence finished the scoreless first period with a 14-10 edge.

Providence struck first just 1:07 into the second period when a slow Penguins line change led to an odd-man break and eventually a 2-on-0 down low. Craig Cunningham took a pass from Jamie Tardif and beat Thiessen, ending the Penguins goalie’s shutout streak at 133:30.

Wilkes-Barre tied it up on the power play at 6:03 of the second when Brian Dumoulin wired a point shot to the top corner over the glove of a screened Niklas Svedberg, seconds after a two-man advantage had expired.

The third period was all Providence, which owned a 20-2 advantage in shots for the frame, but Thiessen was up to the task.

On the game-winning goal, Alex Grant kept a Bruins clearing attempt in at the blue line and put a shot wide of the net. Smith scooped up the puck and wrapped it around before Svedberg could get back in position.

Thiessen (4-1) has now stopped 143 of 147 shots in the series, good for a 0.85 goals-against average and a .973 save percentage since taking over in the second period of Game 2.

Svedberg (6-5) stopped 16 of 18 shots for the Bruins, who have lost three consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 26 to Nov. 2, 2012.

NOTES: Wilkes-Barre is the fourth team in American Hockey League history to force a Game 7 after falling behind 0-3… Road teams are now 10-3 in overtime games during the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs… The Penguins were 1-for-5 on the power play in Game 6; the Bruins were 0-for-3… Wilkes-Barre improved to 20-11 all-time when facing elimination.

Eastern Conference Semifinal – Series “I” (best-of-7)
1-Providence Bruins vs. 5-Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Game 1 – Fri., May 10 – PROVIDENCE 8, W-B/Scranton 5
Game 2 – Sat., May 11 – PROVIDENCE 4, W-B/Scranton 2
Game 3 – Wed., May 15 – Providence 2, W-B/SCRANTON 1 (OT)
Game 4 – Fri., May 17 – W-B/SCRANTON 3, Providence 1
Game 5 – Sat., May 18 – W-B/SCRANTON 4, Providence 0
Game 6 – Mon., May 20 – W-B/Scranton 2, PROVIDENCE 1 (OT)
Game 7 – Wed., May 22 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05