Tardif scores two in first game back from Boston

Providence, RI -
The Providence Bruins fell to 26-17-0-3 on the season as they where defeated by the Portland Pirates 5-2 tonight at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Providence's Jamie Tardif scored two goals on the night, improving to 23 goals on the season.
The action began immediately after the puck dropped in this extremely competitive, and literal fight for first place. Just 15 seconds into the first, Lane MacDermid dropped the gloves with Portland's Maxim Goncharov. MacDermid rejoined Providence earlier in the day on a conditioning loan from Boston. Portland's Mark Louis would also head to the box for cross checking giving Providence their first power play opportunity of the game. Providence was unable to capitalize on the power play and Portland would make them pay. With 14:09 left in the first, the Pirate's Chris Brown scored the first goal of the game putting the Pirates up 1-0. Rob Klinkhammer and Evan Brophey assisted the goal. The game's physicality would continue as both teams pushed and shoved after the whistle throughout the first. With 8:11 to go in the period, Providence would get another shot at the power play, as Portland's Alexandre Bolduc would be called for slashing. Again, the Bruins were unable to capitalize on the opportunity. Almost immediately after the Bruins power play ended they would be tested on the penalty kill, as Garnet Exelby would be sent to the box for boarding. Bruins goalie Michael Hutchinson would turn back a barrage of shots, and the Bruins successfully killed the penalty. The period would come to and end with Portland leading 1-0, as they outshot Providence 11-8 in the period.

The second period began with 4-on-4 hockey following penalties late in the first by both teams. Once back to full strength, Portland would strike again as Jordan Martinook would score his second of the season assisted by Darian Dziurzynski and David Rundblad. Portland would now lead 2-0. Following back-to-back power plays on goaltender interference by Bolduc, and tripping by Brendan Shinnimin, Providence would finally get on the board. Portland goalie Mark Visentin would mishandle the puck in front of the net and Providence's Jamie Tardif picked it up, wrapped around the net, and scored (9:13). The goal was assisted by Ryan Spooner and Carter Camper who would extend his point streak to seven games. This was the 22nd goal of the season for Tardif who was reassigned to Providence from Boston earlier in the day. With 9:22 left in the second, Pirate Chris Brown would be called for holding. Providence would have yet another power play opportunity and a chance to tie the game at 2. Portland however, had other plans. Throughout the majority of the power play, Portland did an excellent job of controlling possession and their puck control would pay off. Seconds after killing the power play Portland would increase their lead to 3-1, as Phil Lane would score on the assists from Brown and David Rundblad. Just over a minute after, Providence would answer back as Tardif would score his second of the game on a beautiful pass from Torey Krug. The assist would also extend Krug's point streak to 7 games. With the goal, the Bruins tightened the game to 3-2. However, with 1:47 left in the period Portland would regain their two-goal advantage. Rob Klinkhammer would score his 11th of the season, assisted by Brophey and Boris Valabik. The period would end with Providence trailing by a pair of goals as Portland lead 4-2. Again, Portland would outshoot Providence in the period by a total of 14-9.

Following a late ruffing penalty in the second by MacDermid, Portland would begin the third period on the power play. They would not wait long to take advantage, as Klinkhammer would score his second of the game just 1:04 into the period. Goncharov would be credited with the assist as Portland increased their lead to 5-2. Providence would have three more power play opportunities throughout the period but where unable to take advantage of the numerous chances. As the final horn sounded Portland would prevail, ending the Bruin's six-game winning streak by a final score of 5-2. Portland outshot Providence 35-27.