BEARS STORM BACK TO DEFEAT BRUINS
Potulny Nets Third Period Game-Winner
HERSHEY, Pa. – With the help of Philipp Grubauer's 37 saves, Boyd Kane, Nicolas Deschamps and Ryan Potulny all scored in succession to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 victory over the Providence Bruins on Saturday night at a sold-out GIANT Center.
With time winding down in a tightly-played first period, Providence would turn a Bears carry into an odd-man rush the other way. Alexander Khokhlachev would rush down the left wing, and then feed a pass across the slot. Alexander Fallstrom ripped the puck past Grubauer for his first professional goal at 19:20 and gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
Two late penalties to the Bruins, separated by just six seconds, would give the Bears 1:47 of two-man power play time to start the second period. Providence not only killed off both penalties, but the team created three shorthanded scoring opportunities on a third Hershey power play early in the middle frame. Grubauer stood tall on chances by Christian Hanson and Kyle MacKinnon.
Providence then earned their first and only power play of the game, and made it count to expand the lead to 2-0. Zach Trotman passed from the left point to Max Sauve, who was set up in the right circle. Sauve then made a quick pass in front to Jamie Tardif, who in turn tipped the puck through Grubauer's legs at 10:01.
Following a timeout, Hershey began their comeback. With Bobby Robins serving his second of four penalties in the game, Kane began the power play by setting up at the top of the crease guarded by Niklas Svedberg. Deschamps carried out of the right wing corner and powered toward the net. The puck deflected off of Svedberg's pad, off of Kane's stick blade and into the net to put the Bears on the board at 14:06.
Hershey would pull even at the 8:35 mark of the third period on the speed of Deschamps. The winger drove down the left wing side and with a Bruins defenseman trying to tie him up, got off a snap shot that sailed over the glove of Svedberg.
The Bears applied relentless pressure and eventually forced a turnover high in the Bruins' zone. Casey Wellman spotted Potulny all alone behind the Providence defense, and Potulny whirled to backhand a shot through Svedberg's pads at 12:31.
The Bruins would pull Svedberg for an extra attacker but could not draw even.
Grubauer stopped all 15 third-period shots by Providence, and 37 of 39 overall, to improve to 11-6-2. Svedberg turned aside 23 of 26 but fell to 32-8-2. The Bears finished the night 1-for-4 on the power play and 0-for-1 on the penalty kill.
With the win, the Bears improve to 32-26-3-6 (73 points) and remain in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with nine games left in the regular season.