For the eighth time in 13 playoff meetings over the last three springs, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Bridgeport worked overtime on Friday night.
Ryan Stone ripped a shot home 13:39 into OT to give the Penguins a 3-2 victory, extending their East Division semifinal series to a deciding Game 7.
The teams go at it one more time tomorrow night at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza.
All six games in this series have been decided by a single goal, and each has been won by the visiting team. Game 6 was the third overtime game of this series, and marked the Sound Tigers’ seventh trip to OT in their last nine home games.
The Penguins had been 2-for-36 on the power play in the series before Stone’s goal, a blast from the face-off circle to the right of Sound Tigers goaltender Wade Dubielewicz after Bridgeport’s Jeremy Colliton had been whistled for interference.
Dubielewicz made 45 saves in defeat, including 26 in a second period dominated by Wilkes-Barre.
Marc-Andre Fleury, the first overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, made 33 saves to earn his first win in five career postseason appearances.
Jonathan Filewich finished with a goal and two assists for the Penguins, who never trailed in the game.
Masi Marjamaki and Matt Koalska responded for the Sound Tigers.
GRAND RAPIDS 2, TORONTO 1 (2OT)
Matt Ellis scored 11 seconds into the second overtime period as Grand Rapids closed out its North Division semifinal series with a 2-1 win in Toronto.
The Griffins will meet either Manitoba or Syracuse in the second round, beginning next Friday at Van Andel Arena.
Aleksander Suglobov gave the Marlies the lead with his fifth goal of the series just 21 seconds into the game. It held up until Ellis scored at the 3:45 mark of the third.
Ellis, one of the Griffins’ eight 20-goal scorers in the regular season, ended the series on the first shift of the fifth period, with Donald MacLean and Nate DiCasmirro picking up the assists.
Drew MacIntyre, making his second straight start after Jimmy Howard‘s NHL recall to Detroit, made 41 saves in the win, outlasting Toronto counterpart J.S. Aubin (43 saves).
MANITOBA 3, SYRACUSE 2 (OT)
Lee Goren‘s goal 5:24 into overtime gave Manitoba a 3-2 win and a 3-2 series lead over Syracuse before 7,851 fans in Winnipeg.
The series, which has seen the home team win all five games, shifts back to Syracuse for Game 6 on Sunday.
Craig Darby and Alexandre Burrows also scored for the Moose, who improved to 9-2 in playoff games at the MTS Centre.
Geoff Platt and Joakim Lindstrom picked up the goals for the Crunch, who have been held to eight goals in the five games.
PORTLAND 5, PROVIDENCE 2
Zenon Konopka and Ryan Shannon each scored twice as Portland advance to the Atlantic Division final with a 5-2 victory in Providence on Friday night.
The Pirates defeated the rival Bruins in six games, and will face either Hartford or Manchester in the second round.
Konopka’s six goals in the postseason lead the league. He added five assists for 11 points in the series.
Kent Huskins and Simon Ferguson added two assists each for Portland, while rookie Nathan Marsters made his first playoff appearance in net and stopped 20 of 22 shots.
The Bruins’ attempt at a historic comeback fell short after posting overtime wins in Games 4 and 5. Eric Nickulas and Jonathan Sigalet scored for Providence on Friday.
IOWA 4, MILWAUKEE 2
Kyle Brodziak and Toby Petersen scored third-period goals and Mike Smith made 29 saves as Iowa staved off elimination once again with a 4-2 victory in Milwaukee on Friday.
The teams will play a deciding Game 7 at the Bradley Center on Sunday evening, with the Admirals trying to avoid coughing up a 3-1 series lead in the first round for the second year in a row.
Darren Haydar opened the scoring with his third goal of the series for Milwaukee, but Iowa rallied to score the next four, beginning with Dan Hacker’s second goal in as many games. Marius Holtet put the Stars in front for good at the 12:20 mark of the second period.
Jake Moreland replaced Brian Finley in net 11:30 into the game and stopped 19 shots in his AHL season debut.