Four goals in the first eight minutes of play were more than enough for the Providence Bruins, who skated to a 4-0 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Game Two of the best-of-seven series between the clubs is Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre at 7:05pm.
It took just 1:33 for the Bruins to jump on the board. Matt Lindblad intercepted a clearing attempt from Scott Harrington and picked out Alexander Khokhlachev streaking to the far side of the Penguins net. Khokhlachev’s redirect beat Peter Mannino for the Moscow native’s third goal of the postseason.
That was just the start of the night for Khokhlachev though, who set up Craig Cunningham’s power play tally with a cross-crease feed on the goal line at 7:03, and netted his second of the night exactly one minute later with a pretty short-side shot during a two-on-one break. Those two goals bookended Andrew Cherniwchan’s easy tap in from the top of the blue paint at 7:48 of the opening frame.
Niklas Svedberg stopped all 20 shots he faced for his first career playoff shutout.
Mannino was solid after the rough start, stopping the final 21 shots he faced (24 saves on the night) in the losing effort.
Good seats for Saturday night’s game are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena box office or by calling the Penguins ticket offices at 570-208-7367. The first 500 fans ages 14 and under can get into Saturday night’s game for free with a paid adult ticket.
40 Coal Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702 · 570-208-7367
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