Chuck Kobasew stretched his goal streak to five games, but his tally was the only the Penguins could muster, as the Providence Bruins took a 2-1 win against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Penguins (36-22-3-5, 80 points) failed to pick up ground on the East Division leading Binghamton Senators, who hold a one point edge in the division standings over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with two games in hand.
Providence (35-23-2-7, 79 points) moved into eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings with the win, their second consecutive victory.
The Bruins wasted little time in jumping out to the early lead. Providence used a solid forecheck to force a turnover behind the Penguins goal, where former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward Nick Johnson grabbed the loose puck and fed Craig Cunningham in the slot. The Bruins sniper added to his team-leading goal total, wristing home his 22nd of the season at 3:42 of the opening frame.
Kobasew, who entered the night with five goals in his first four games with the Penguins, made it a half dozen 17 seconds into the second period. Andrew Ebbett fed Kobasew at the top of the crease from behind the goal line, and the veteran forward was able to beat Malcolm Subban on the far post to tie the game at 1-1.
A Philip Samuelsson cross-checking call at 13:16 of the second gave the Bruins their third power play of the evening, and Ryan Spooner converted with a shot from the far circle that appeared to deflect off of Peter Mannino’s left leg pad for what turned out to be the decisive goal.
Subban was solid on the night, stopping 31 shots for his 14th win of the season. Mannino dropped just his third decision of the year, allowing two goals on 20 shots.
The Penguins travel to Norfolk for a weekend set, with games on Friday and Saturday at the Scope. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton currently lead the Admirals by three points in both the East Division and Eastern Conference standings, as the clubs battle for playoff position down the stretch.
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