PORTLAND 3, PROVIDENCE 0
Conference finalists two of the last three years, Portland kicked off its 2009 postseason with a 3-0 road win over Providence on Wednesday at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Marek Zagrapan scored twice for the Pirates, giving them a 1-0 lead in the opening period and sealing the victory with a late empty-netter.
The Bruins started with a flurry and a couple early chances, but it was the Pirates who got on the board when Zagrapan converted a low feed from Mark Mancari at the 4:23 mark. Defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani also assisted on Zagrapan’s second career Calder Cup Playoff goal.
Portland extended its advantage to 2-0 on an unassisted tally from Felix Schutz just 1:42 into the middle frame.
Zagrapan’s empty-net tally came at 19:02 of the third period and just seconds after the Bruins had pulled goaltender Tuukka Rask. Mancari registered his second assist of the night on the goal.
Pirates rookie netminder Jhonas Enroth was sharp in his first AHL playoff game, earning the shutout with 28 saves in net.
Game 2 of the teams’ Atlantic Division semifinal is slated for Friday in Providence. The series shifts to Portland for Game 3 on Sunday.