Bruins Even Series With Bears

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Posted May 12, 2017

Vitek Vanecek played in the third period (Caps Outsider)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Providence Bruins hung on tight to a one-goal win from the Dunkin Donuts Center, beating the Hershey Bears 2-1. The loss guarantees a game six in Hershey next Tuesday.

Chris Porter‘s game-winning goal came with under a minute to go in the second period. The Bruins held on from there, content to play keep away and defense by the later stages of the game.

Zane McIntyre, who has yet to allow a first period goal in the playoffs this season, stopped 10 for the game.

“That’s a big group over there,” Bears captain Garrett Mitchell said. “You look at the front, there’s five guys inside the, we call it ‘the house,’ inside the dots at all times.”

Copley stood tall for the two periods he played before leaving with an apparent lower-body injury. He finished the night with 28 saves on 30 shots.

“I’m not sure if it’s his knee or his groin yet,” Hershey head coach Troy Mann said. “Just think he came across, made a heck of a save there, and something happened that when he came East-West there on his save. Certainly was a turning point there for us.”

“It’s the game, things are going to happen,” Mitchell said. “Best part about it is that we have two great goalies, we get a day off here to regroup, we’ll go back at it.”

Paul Carey, who cleared waivers at noon today from the Washington Capitals, jumped back into the lineup with the absence of Jakub Vrana. He had an assist.

“A little bit of rust there, he hasn’t played a lot of hockey in the last six weeks,” Mann said. “I’m sure he’ll be better on Sunday.”

On a second period power-play, Alex Grant scored his first goal of the playoffs. Peter Mueller got Grant the puck at the top of the left faceoff circle, and Grant had plenty of time to step into his shot. The puck went high of Copley for Providence’s first power-play goal of the series.

Christian Djoos had plenty of time to step into his shot, as well, setting up Dustin Gazley for tip-in past McIntyre. With a secondary assist, Carey got his first point of the playoffs.

Porter scored with less than a minute left in the second, but the Bears lost something else on the play. After Porter took his first swing at the puck, Copley could not get back to cover the post. By the time the puck went in, Copley was sprawled on the ice and needed assistance to get off, putting no weight on his right leg.

Vitek Vanecek, who last played against Providence in the final game of the regular season, came in and finished the game.

“Hopefully, if he’s the guy on Sunday, he’ll give us a good start,” Mann said.

Vanecek had to keep his positioning on a three-on-none after a Madison Bowey turnover. The Bruins were so busy looking for the right shot, they did not shoot it. Vanecek finished with nine saves.

Hershey pressed for the equalizer for two minutes with the extra attacker, and did not capitalize.

“There’s no panic in that room, for sure,” Mitchell said.