Two days after the Providence Bruins took a 1-0 lead over the WBS Penguins in their first round Calder Cup playoff series, the two teams contested Game 2 at the Dunkin Donuts Center on Sunday afternoon. Providence was looking to do unto WBS what WBS did unto Providence last season, which is send their higher-seeded opponents back to their building down 0-2. Providence was bolstered in a huge way by the return of their captain, Tommy Cross, from Boston on Sunday morning.
Expected #WBSPens Lines:— Mike O'Brien (@MikeOBrienWBS) April 23, 2017
Expected #WBSPens D-Pairings:— Mike O'Brien (@MikeOBrienWBS) April 23, 2017
Two changes for WBS on defense, as Cameron Gaunce, fresh off clearing waivers, and Barry Goers replaced Frank Corrado and Brett Stern. Corrado was reported after the game to be suffering a lower-body injury.
Two power plays for WBS, one for Providence, no goals. Shots were 18-9 WBS. Let’s move on, because the second and third periods and OT were where the action was at on this day.
The second period began ominously for Providence, as Chris Casto took a delay of game penalty just 20 seconds in to put WBS on the power play. This one, WBS did not miss, as David Warsofsky, the former Bruin, scored his first goal of these playoffs at 1:58. Kevin Porter and Jean-Sebastien Dea received the assists.
Warsofksy was not done.
Before anyone at the Dunkin Donuts Center could blink, it was 2-0. The lone assist on Warsofsky’s second goal went to Porter for a wicked faceoff win.
At 7:29 of the second, Tom Kostopoulos took an interference penalty to give Providence their second man advantage of the game. Not only did WBS kill off the advantage, but as soon as Kostopoulos was freed from the box, he took a pass from Warsofsky and fed the unlikely Tom Sestito for the big man’s first goal of these playoffs and a 3-0 WBS lead.
Providence was, shall we say, not pleased.
This scrum ended with Sestito and Providence’s Tyler Randell taking matching roughing penalties, but Providence apparently gained something more, as just seven seconds after the penalties, Chris Porter scored his first of the playoffs to bring Providence back to 3-1.
The Bruins weren’t done.
Look carefully at that video. What it won’t show is what preceded this sequence, as described by the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice’s Seth Lakso:
Prime scoring chance for TK lost when his is slashed in two. No call. Bs come back the other way and score. Awful.— Seth Lakso (@CVSethLakso) April 23, 2017
Oh, and just for good measure...
The second period ended tied at 3, with WBS getting 15 shots in the period against Providence’s 14 and a two period total of 33 to Providence’s 23.
With WBS’s backs to the wall, down 1-0 in the series and having just choked away a 3-0 lead, they started the third period about as well as you could have ever hoped, as Josh Archibald scored his first goal of the playoffs at 3:58 of the third, assisted by Oskar Sundqvist and Garrett Wilson.
As so often happens, though, WBS followed up its goal with a penalty, as Tom Sestito sat for hooking at 5:41. WBS almost killed off the entire penalty, but almost only counts in horseshoes.
Five minutes and 10 seconds later, WBS’s worst nightmares stared them in the face.
Providence was riding high, up 1-0 in the series and about ready to close out the Kilpatrick Trophy winners for the second time in 3 days to put them on the brink of elimination, when the legendary Cardiac Penguins finally made their appearance in the form of Josh Archibald’s second goal of the period just 1:03 from full time. Kevin Porter and David Warsofsky got the assists, giving Warsofksy four points on the day, only the ninth time a WBS player has scored four points in the playoffs. He would soon be joined.
The third period ended tied at 5, with shots favoring WBS by the count of 40-31.
Total shots in overtime were four to WBS and two to Providence, giving a final total of 44-33 in favor of WBS. The last shot of the game, fortunately for the Penguins, fell to their dynamic offensive defender, Derrick Pouliot.
Providing the assists for Pouliot’s first goal of these playoffs were Kevin Porter, his fourth assist of the game (becoming the tenth WBS player to score four points in a game), and Garrett Wilson, his second assist of the playoffs.
WBS goaltender Casey DeSmith took the win with 28 saves on 33 shots, while an under-siege Providence keeper Zane McIntyre took a hard loss, saving 38 of 44 shots.
Providence defender Cross won third star honors for his equalizer in the second period and two assists. WBS defender Warsofsky took second star honors for his two goals and two assists, while his fellow defender Pouliot took top honors for his game-winner in overtime.
The scene now shifts to the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza for the remainder of the series. WBS, having earned the split it desired in Providence, must now win two of three games in their building to advance to Round 2. Game 3 of the series takes place on Thursday night at 7:05 pm, while Game 4 (which is now guaranteed) takes place on Friday night at 7:05 pm.
This series is far from over, though. Especially since Clarke MacArthur scored in overtime to advance his Ottawa Senators past the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Now that Providence’s parent team is eliminated, the Bruins may be due for some reinforcements. It is uncertain at this time whether Providence will get anyone else back from Boston, but any new arrivals will be certain to make WBS’s task this upcoming weekend more difficult.