Bruins clamp down again in Game 4, tie series

Photo: Providence Bruins

Another stifling defensive performance allowed Providence to tie the Atlantic Division Finals with a 2-1 win over Hershey in Game 4 at Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Friday night.

With the series square at two games apiece, Game 5 is scheduled for Sunday afternoon back in Providence.

The Bruins controlled play throughout and outshot the Bears by a 39-11 margin in Game 4, one night after owning a 40-15 edge in Game 3.

Providence garnered most of the chances during a fast-paced and scoreless opening period, outshooting the Bears by a 15-3 margin out of the gate. The Bruins have still not allowed a first-period goal all postseason (nine games).

The B’s got the game’s first power play early in the second and quickly converted as Alex Grant picked the top corner on Pheonix Copley 2:04 into the middle frame. It was Grant’s first goal this postseason after he scored a career-high 17 times in the regular season.

But the Bears responded when Dustin Gazley redirected a shot by Christian Djoos past Zane McIntyre for his first goal of the playoffs at 5:51. Former Bruin Paul Carey, in his first playoff game with Hershey after beginning the postseason with the parent Washington Capitals, also picked up an assist on the goal.

Providence regained the lead with 41.1 seconds left in the period with what would prove to be the game-winning goal as Chris Porter buried a shot on a power play. Copley (28 saves) was injured during the scramble and yielded the crease to Vitek Vanecek, making his AHL postseason debut.

Hershey managed just three shots in the third period while looking to tie, none over the final 1:54 with Vanecek pulled for an extra attacker.

Providence was 1-for-3 on the power play in the game; Hershey was 0-for-1.

Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A3-Hershey Bears vs. A4-Providence Bruins
Game 1 – Sat., May 6 – Providence 3, HERSHEY 1
Game 2 – Sun., May 7 – HERSHEY 3, Providence 2 (OT)
Game 3 – Thu., May 11 – Hershey 2, PROVIDENCE 1 (OT)
Game 4 – Fri., May 12 – PROVIDENCE 2, Hershey 1
Game 5 – Sun., May 14 – Hershey at Providence, 3:05
Game 6 – Tue., May 16 – Providence at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 7 – Wed., May 17 – Providence at Hershey, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern