Only one minute and 56 seconds after Chad Kolarik had spawned the Whale’s second one-goal advantage on his second strike of the night, Jamie Tardif set the tone for a gush of timely, team-wide reversals of fortune.
The 2-2 knot Tardif drew at 14:44 of the second period lasted a mere 69 seconds before David Warsofsky slugged home the eventual decider. It was the host club’s third goal in a span of 13:06 after an inauspicious first period evoked memories of their previous outing, a 6-0 letdown in St. John’s last Sunday.
With the abrupt awakening, the P-Bruins had tallied three goals in a single game for the first time in precisely two weeks. In addition, they had negated a harrowingly ominous trend in the matchup at hand.
Had the Whale retained the 1-0 lead that Alden Hirschfeld deleted or the 2-1 advantage Kolarik renewed, they would have entered the closing frame safeguarding a pristine 5-0-0 record when leading after 40 minutes. In addition, they would have been in control whilst trying to build on a four-game winning streak.
Conversely, the host Bruins would have been cramming to buck a season-long, seven-game losing skid when trailing at the second intermission. In the midst of that, they would have been all but scrambling to avert their first set of consecutive losses in four weeks.
Instead, eight different point-getters, including a goal and assist by Hirschfeld, raised an upper hand. Among that group, Tardif snapped his four-game scoreless skid while playmakers Kyle MacKinnon and Justin Florek each halted a five-game hex.
Three more Providence skaters―Tardif, Warsofsky and Zach Trotman―would join Hirschfeld, Kolarik and Kris Newbury in the evening’s multipoint club at 5:15 of the third. They collaborated on an insurance goal and drought-splashing power-play conversion, giving their team its first multi-goal edge since Nov. 17 and only its second four-goal outing of the season.
Some of the deeper data behind Friday night’s Providence win is as follows.
Shots on goal by rookie defenseman Tommy Cross, who made his P-Bruins season debut after being summoned from South Carolina Wednesday. Cross, who was tied for the Stingrays’ team lead with a 6-11-17 scoring log before his promotion, nabbed credit for the secondary assist on Tardif’s first goal.
Cross’ blue-line partner, Matt Bartkowski, chipped in three registered stabs of his own while Tardif and Craig Cunningham matched his team-best output of four on the night.
Team-leading assists on the year for Chris Bourque, who had the primary helper on Tardif’s second-period equalizer and is now also in sole possession of the team lead with 13 points.
Bourque has charged up a goal or an assist in each of the Bruins’ last six wins and has been held pointless in their last four regulation or shootout losses. Overall this season, his team is 8-2-0 when he makes a tangible contribution and 0-6-1 otherwise.
Major penalties on the year for forward Bobby Robins, a league-high that he elevated by brawling with Logan Pyett with 1:57 remaining in the first period.
Unfortunately for Robins’ allies, the fight was a product of his cross-checking infraction in neutral territory, putting them on the penalty kill for the remainder of the frame. The Whale logged six of their first nine shots on that power play, though Providence goaltender Niklas Svedberg kept the deficit at 1-0.
Straight blown power plays by Providence until Tardif converted for a dose of insurance at 5:15 of the third period.
The Bruins had not tallied on the man advantage since there was 12:03 gone in the second period of a Nov. 17 visit to Portland. In their last 10 games, they are 5-0-1 when converting at least one man advantage and 1-3-0 when they go barren on special teams.
Minutes and 26 seconds between the expiration of Robins’ carry-over cross-checking minor and linemate Lane MacDermid’s hooking infraction at 12:29 of the third period.
During that lengthy interlude, Providence played consistently at full strength and spent that time drawing three power plays for itself and morphing the original 1-0 deficit into a 4-2 advantage.
Fans in attendance, constituting the P-Bruins’ largest home audience in any of their seven November games at The Dunk and the third-largest congregation of the 2012-13 season.