Picking up where they left off in the first round, the Providence Bruins jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 4-0 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in Game 1 of the teams’ best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series on Friday night.
The Bruins, who scored five unanswered goals in Game 5 to close out their series with Springfield last weekend, struck four times on seven shots in the first 8:03 against the Penguins, with Alexander Khokhlachev leading the offense with two goals and an assist.
Game 2 is Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre.
Providence opened the scoring 93 seconds into the game as Matt Lindblad intercepted a clearing try and threw the puck in front, where Khokhlachev redirected it past Peter Mannino for a 1-0 Bruins lead.
Providence then broke the game open with three goals in a span of one minute, beginning at 7:03 when Craig Cunningham one-timed home a back-door pass from Khokhlachev for a power-play marker and a 2-0 advantage.
The Bruins have outscored their opponents 16-6 over the last three games, netting 11 first-period goals.
Niklas Svedberg (3-2) made 20 saves for his first career playoff shutout. Mannino (3-2) finished with 24 saves in the loss.
Eastern Conference Semifinals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
6-W-B/Scranton Penguins vs. 7-Providence Bruins | Series Snapshot
Game 1 – Fri., May 9 – Providence 4, W-B/SCRANTON 0
Game 2 – Sat., May 10 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
Game 3 – Wed., May 14 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
Game 4 – Fri., May 16 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
*Game 5 – Sat., May 17 – W-B/Scranton at Providence, 7:05
*Game 6 – Mon., May 19 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 7 – Wed., May 21 – Providence at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*if necessary… All times Eastern