The Providence Bruins deleted a pair of 1-0 deficits in one night, surmounting the second to nab a 2-1 shootout triumph over the Albany Devils at the Dunkin' Donuts Center Friday.
Chris Bourque thawed out his month-long cold twig to tune the mesh once in regulation to counter Adam Henrique’s icebreaker the period prior. He reran his knot-pulling habit in the bottom half of the third shootout inning to retort after Matt Anderson had beat Niklas Svedberg bar-down in the top of the second.
Two rounds later, in the last possible bid for a decider before sudden-death stanzas, Jamie Tardif roofed the winner past Albany netminder Keith Kinkaid, who had repelled 31shots in regulation and seven in the five-minute overtime.
The penalty shots were a fairly fitting method of settling a storyline of two alternating goaltending dolphin shows between Kinkaid and Svedberg.
Besides the host and guest stopper’s respective bushels of 26 and 37 saves, here are six other jutting stats from Friday’s squeaker.
Shots on goal from rookie forward Justin Florek, both coming in the third period after he had failed to test a single visiting goalie in the first eight frames of the P-Bruins’ three-game homestand. He thus chipped in exactly one-quarter of the eight stabs Providence took at Kinkaid in their effort to put the Devils away without letting the action spill into a bonus round.
Penalties or pairs of penalties committed within whispering distance of Kinkaid, which spoke to the aggression of the P-Bruins strike force for much of the evening.
Bobby Robins took an offensive zone foul for hooking at 11:39 of the first period, at which time he also dropped the gloves with Alexander Urbom. Another Devils defenseman, Dan Kelly, got into a minor skirmish with a less likely Providence pugilist, Max Sauve, after Kinkaid summoned a whistle.
Early in the middle frame, Kinkaid drew a power play directly when Lane MacDermid incurred a goalie interference citation at 3:31.
Career shootout goals for both Bourque and Tardif after Friday night’s lightning round.
Tardif had buried three out of 10 career tries in his five years as a Grand Rapids Griffin, but went 0-for-2 as a Bruin last year. Bourque was similarly scoreless throughout 2011-12 despite being allotted nine post-regulation one-on-ones and going 3-for-16 overall in his days with the Hershey Bears.
Power-play conversions over the Bruins’ last 22 tries, dating back to late in the second period of an Oct. 27 visit to Connecticut. Before that, they were 3-for-25 on the year, meaning they have had a little more than double the success in their last 10 periods of play than they did over the season’s first 17.
Bourque’s man-up conversion constituted a 1-1 equalizer at 8:19 of the middle frame and finally hatched the AHL veteran’s goal-column goose egg in his dawning stint with Providence, the farm club of his legendary father’s long-time employer.
With the primary helper on the play, Carter Camper has his second three-game production streak in as many months, each of his last three points coming on the man advantage.
Although, after Bourque made Kelly pay for his holding infraction, the P-Bruins went barren on four unanswered power plays between 16:55 of the second and 1:41 of overtime, prolonging the deadlock. But in fairness, Kinkaid ought to take his share of credit for thwarting those drives and thus matching Svedberg’s stinginess in the clutch.
Albany finally snapped that trend by going on an 11-8 run in a scoreless third period, including six unanswered stabs in a span of six minutes starting around the halfway mark of the stanza. That was also the first time in recent memory that a Providence adversary has managed to break double digits in a single period’s shooting gallery, though Svedberg snuffed every threat in one of his busiest periods yet.
Consecutive penalty kills for Providence, dating back to last Friday when Worcester’s Bracken Kearns converted for the eventual game-winner while Colby Cohen was serving a two-minute tripping sentence.
The Bruins kept the Devils scoreless on five man-up segments and committed no penalties after Robins went off for roughing at 16:23 of the middle frame.