Bruins hold off Penguins in Game 1, 8-5

Game 1

Providence scored four times in a span of 5:15 in the second period, then held off a late rally to knock off Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 8-5, in the opener of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Friday night.

The two top defensive teams in the AHL during the regular season combined for 13 goals, the most in an AHL playoff game in nearly six years.

Game 2 will be Saturday in Providence.

The Penguins, rested after their three-game sweep of Binghamton in the first round, controlled the start of the game, racing out to a 15-2 edge in shots and taking a 1-0 lead on Chad Kolarik‘s penalty-shot goal at 9:31 of the first period.

Ryan Spooner tied the game for the Bruins late in the period, and then Jordan Caron, Kyle MacKinnon, Jamie Tardif and Carter Camper broke it open in the second, giving Providence a 5-2 lead by the 10:24 mark of the middle frame.

The Penguins scored twice in 48 seconds to cut the deficit to 6-5 with just under three minutes left in regulation, but Chris Bourque and Tardif answered to close out the highest-scoring Calder Cup Playoff game since Hershey’s 7-6 overtime win over the Penguins on May 11, 2007.

Bourque finished the game with a goal and three assists, and Tardif (2g), MacKinnon (1g, 1a), Camper (1g, 1a), Spooner (1g, 1a), Caron (1g, 1a) and Craig Cunningham (1g, 1a) all had two-point nights for the Bruins.

Paul Thompson led Wilkes-Barre’s offense with two goals and an assist, and Brian Gibbons and Chris Collins notched a goal and an assist each.

Niklas Svedberg (4-2) allowed five goals on 30 shots for Providence but still earned his fourth straight win.

Jeff Zatkoff (2-1) gave up a career-high eight goals on 27 shots, losing for the first time this postseason.