The first team to face elimination in these Calder Cup Playoffs, the Providence Bruins stayed alive with a 6-3 victory over the Springfield Falcons on Tuesday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
The Bruins, who rallied from 0-2 down to win their first-round series with Hershey last spring, forced a fifth and deciding game in Springfield on Saturday.
For the fourth straight game, Providence got on the board first as Craig Cunningham redirected a point shot by Zach Trotman past Mike McKenna for his first goal of the postseason at 7:04 of the first period.
Springfield chipped into the deficit on a power play at 13:00 of the first, as Ryan Craig perched himself at the top of the crease and buried a feed from Carter Camper past Malcolm Subban, who was making his first start of the series for the Bruins.
Spooner scored a big goal with just 3.7 seconds remaining in the first period, allowing Providence to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission. Joe Morrow got his own rebound and sent a second attempt back through the crease, where it was picked up by Spooner and fired into the cage for a power-play goal.
Darryl Boyce brought the Falcons to within 3-2 with a power-play goal at 13:53 of the second period, collecting a loose puck off a blocked Camper shot and beating Subban with a turnaround shot from the slot for his first playoff goal.
Providence needed just six seconds to retake a two-goal lead, as Alexander Fallstrom capitalized on a Falcons turnover in front of McKenna and slid a pass to Nick Johnson, who scored to make it 4-2.
In the third, Fraser picked the top corner far side on McKenna for his second goal of the night, putting the Bruins on top 5-2 with 15:15 remaining. Anton Forsberg relieved McKenna in the Falcons cage after the goal.
Alexander Khokhlachev buried a power-play goal with 11:30 to play to give Providence a 6-2 lead, and Falcons defenseman Tim Erixon closed out the scoring by wiring home a shot during a 4-on-3 advantage with 2:36 left.
Fraser (2g), Spooner (1g, 1a), Johnson (1g, 1a), Morrow (2a) and David Warsofsky (2a) all had two points on the night for the Bruins. Camper and Patrick McNeill recorded three assists each for the Falcons.
Subban (1-0) finished the game with 31 saves for the Bruins. McKenna (2-2) allowed five goals on 28 shots; Forsberg stopped nine of 10 shots in relief.
Springfield was 3-for-6 on the power play; Providence went 2-for-7.
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals – Series “B” (best-of-5)
2-Springfield Falcons vs. 7-Providence Bruins
Game 1 – Wed., Apr. 23 – Springfield 3, PROVIDENCE 2 (OT)
Game 2 – Fri., Apr. 25 – Providence 2, SPRINGFIELD 1 (OT)
Game 3 – Sat., Apr. 26 – SPRINGFIELD 3, Providence 2
Game 4 – Tue., Apr. 29 – PROVIDENCE 6, Springfield 3
Game 5 – Sat., May 3 – Providence at Springfield, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern