Virtually all tangible and abstract parties involved garnered mixed results in an eventual 4-3 shootout decision going against the Bruins and their 6,201 faithful congregants at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Jamie Tardif, who buried the decider in a one-on-one win over Albany two nights prior, could not rerun his heroics in the bottom of Sunday’s fifth shootout round. In the resultant sixth inning, Brandon Mashinter gave Worcester the upper hand before Kyle MacKinnon was stoned by Alex Stalock.
With that, Providence has failed on two tries this year to whittle a full two points off of Worcester, which also nabbed a 3-2 regulation triumph at The Dunk nine nights prior. The Bruins’ miniature winless streak in this frequent feud has thus snapped a pattern that had each club alternating wins in their previous 10 meetings.
In addition, upon being summoned to relieve Niklas Svedberg in the final installment of the first three-game weekend on the 2011-12 schedule, goaltender Michael Hutchinson brooked another unfavorable outing.
This one at least yielded a regulation tie and thus a little tangible gain for the team, but there was plainly more to be gained that the hard-luck netminder and his skating mates squandered.
A deeper look at Sunday’s bipolar bout unveils this sample of six statistics.
Shots registered by the Sharks against Hutchinson in the 15 minutes and seven seconds of action between Yanni Gourde’s icebreaker and the 6:18 mark of the second period. At the other end, the P-Bruins put three pucks behind Stalock in that span to morph the 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 advantage.
Unanswered shots by the P-Bruins, two of which went in to give the hosts the lead, between 1:06 and 16:43 of the second period. The Sharks took one hack at Hutchinson in the first minute before Ryan Spooner―who tallied two points plus a shootout goal―buried his team’s first try on the fresh sheet of ice for the equalizer.
Defenseman Garnet Exelby subsequently slugged home the team’s fourth bid of the stanza and third goal of the day with 6:18 gone.
Shots on net by the Sharks within the first 15 minutes of closing frame, surpassing their 40-minute total of 11. Worcester started swarming early during the final 14 seconds of a carry-over power play and snowballed the ensuing foundation to match the P-Bruins fervor from the second stanza, effectively recompensing the deficit they incurred.
Consecutive successful penalty kills for Providence until Bracken Kearns tipped home Matt Irwin’s power-play point shot, cutting the deficit to 3-2 at 6:26 of the third period.
As it happened, Kearns was responsible for the previous opposing conversion at the P-Bruins expense in their previous tangle on Nov. 2. The Sharks would add a second straight man-up strike for the equalizer courtesy of Brandon Mashinter, assuring each party at least one point in the standings.
Minutes and 46 seconds without a regulation goal for the P-Bruins between Chris Bourque’s second-period equalizer on Friday and Tardif’s first-period equalizer on Sunday.
The protracted hex, prolonged by the team’s 3-0 shutout loss in Manchester on Saturday, shattered the previous season-high drought of 66:58, which Tardif coincidentally splashed as well on Oct. 27. That evening, not unlike Sunday's matinee, saw a short-lived Bruins lead morph into a shortcoming on Hutchinson's tab.
Days―or, precisely 30 weeks―since Hutchinson last had a winning decision, that one being in the 2011-12 season finale April 15 versus Portland. That number will continue to grow indefinitely in the wake of Sunday's frustrating, fall-from-ahead falter.
Hutchinson, who was 0-4-0 entering this start, was afforded his first multi-goal cushion in recent memory when he and his colleagues took the 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
But after the Bruins had kept their goalie minimally pestered while they were sculpting that lead, the lengthy lull in activity on Providence property stirred a concoction of rest and rust for Hutchinson.
He bent by letting two of 15 third-period shots get by and then broke by whiffing on three of six shootout stabs, spilling the extra point and revising his record to 0-4-1 on the year.