Anton Zlobin (2+1) and Brian Dumoulin (1+2) each picked up three points, as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins rattled off five consecutive goals en route to a 6-1 win over the Providence Bruins in Game Two of the Calder Cup Eastern Conference Semifinals on Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre. The win evened the series at 1-1, with Games Three, Four and Five slated for Providence this coming Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.
The six goal outburst came just 24 hours after the Penguins were shutout by the Bruins, 4-0, in Game One.
A scoreless first period led to an offensive onslaught by the Penguins, who put up their highest playoff goal total since a 7-2 win over the Hershey Bears in Game Two of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.
Wilkes-Barre got its first goal of the series 5:41 into the second when Spencer Machacek’s shot bounced off of Niklas Svedberg’s pads and found rookie Conor Sheary in the slot. The recent ATO signee had a virtually empty net to shoot at for his first professional goal.
Providence tied the game up five and a half minutes later in similar fashion, as Justin Florek went to one knee to swat home a rebound off of Peter Mannino’s pads during a Bruins power play. The goal was the first of the postseason for Florek.
It was all Penguins from there on out though. Zlobin netted a pair of goals just 46 seconds apart from virtually the same spot on the ice. His first came off an offensive zone faceoff win from the left circle, (beating Svedberg short side), and his second came 24 seconds into a David Warsofsky holding call just inside the left goal post.
Chuck Kobasew extended the lead to 4-1 with 53 seconds left in the period, deflecting a Simon Despres point shot during the Penguins’ fifth power play of the evening.
Kostopoulos made it a 5-1 game with a shot along the goal line eight seconds into a Chris Casto roughing call. That goal ended Svedberg’s night, with the goaltender exiting after stopping 19 shots in 44:26 of work.
Things got chippy from there on out, with the teams combining for 116 penalty minutes over the final 14 minutes of play. Included in that total were nine misconduct penalties for continuing altercations (five for Providence, four for Wilkes-Barre).
Dumoulin completed the night’s scoring with his second goal of the postseason – a great individual effort that eluded backup Malcolm Subban’s glove hand on the far post at 10:29. That was the only shot Subban faced in relief of Svedberg.
Kobasew (1+1), Kostopoulos (1+1), Despres (0+2) and Brendan Mikkelson (0+2) also put up multiple point games for the Penguins. Mannino turned aside 23 shots to record his fourth win of the postseason.
NOTES: Tom Kostopoulos appeared in his 57th career playoff game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday, tying former Pens defenseman and current assistant coach Alain Nasreddine for first place on the club’s all-time list…Kostopoulos assisted on Kobasew’s second period goal, giving him 30 career postseason assists with the Penguins, first on the team’s all-time list.
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