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Sharks outlast P-Bruins, cut series deficit in half


WORCESTER 5, PROVIDENCE 3

Desperate to avoid a 3-0 series hole, Worcester started fast out of the gate and emerged with a 5-3 road win over Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Friday. Rookie Jamie McGinn’s third goal of the series held up as the game-winner for the Sharks, who now trail the Atlantic Division Finals by a 2-1 margin.

Worcester grabbed its first lead of the series on the power play at 14:10 of the opening period, as defenseman Patrick Traverse took a long rebound from a Derek Joslin shot and blasted it from the left circle through a screen over Providence goaltender Tuukka Rask’s right shoulder.

T.J. Fox made it a 2-0 game in the period’s closing minute as he skated down the right wing on 2-on-1 break and fired home a wrist shot from about 10 feet out. The Sharks held an 11-9 shots advantage through the first 20 minutes and also hit a pair of posts.

The Bruins cut their deficit in half just 10 seconds into the second frame when rookie Brad Marchand redirected a Jeff Penner feed past Worcester netminder Thomas Greiss for his fourth goal of the playoffs.

Three and a half minutes later, Worcester rookie Andrew Desjardins stripped the puck from Providence’s Johnny Boychuk to the left of Rask and beat the Bruins’ netminder point-blank for an unassisted tally and a 3-1 Sharks lead.

The teams alternated goals the rest of the way, with McGinn scoring the game-winner off a rebound to the right of Rask at 11:39 of the third period.

Jeff Penner and Mikko Lehtonen each added their first playoff goals of the year for Providence, and the Sharks’ Riley Armstrong sealed the win with a late empty-netter for his second tally in as many games.

Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss made 25 saves in the victory and improved to 5-4 in the playoffs. Rask, who surrendered more than two goals for the first time all postseason, took the loss with 26 saves as the Bruins’ six-game winning streak came to an end.

Atlantic Division Finals – Series “I” (best-of-7)
A2-Providence Bruins vs. A4-Worcester Sharks
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Game 1 – Tue., Apr. 28 – PROVIDENCE 3, Worcester 2 (OT)
Game 2 – Wed., May 6 – Providence 4, WORCESTER 2
Game 3 – Fri., May 8 – Worcester 5, PROVIDENCE 3
Game 4 – Sat., May 9 – Providence at Worcester, 7:05
Game 5 – Mon., May 11 – Worcester at Providence, 7:05
*Game 6 – Wed., May 13 – Providence at Worcester, 7:05
*Game 7 – Thu., May 14 – Worcester at Providence, 7:05