Within eight points of clinching first playoff spot since 2009

Portland, ME
-- The Providence Bruins defeated the Portland Pirates 3-2 this evening at the Cumberland County Civic CenterRyan Spooner, Craig Cunningham and Graham Mink scored for the Bruins. Niklas Svedberg made 30 saves as the Bruins improved to 40-20-0-5 and gained sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference. With the win, eight is now the magic number for the Bruins to clinch a playoff spot.

In a battle to gain sole possession of the second place spot in the Eastern Conference, the Bruins came out hungry and ready to battle. Recently returned from recall in Boston, Spooner got the Bruins on the board at 9:20 to give Providence a 1-0 lead over Portland (35-24-3-2). Cunningham found Spooner on the 5-on-3 for Spooner's 13th goal of the season.

At 6:21 of the second, Cunningham added a goal of his own, his 23rd of the season. The goal extends Cunningham's streak to nine goals and three assists in his last 10 games.  It was the duo of Cunningham and Spooner again, as Cunningham connected on the rebound of a shot from Spooner. The Pirates, who sit eight points behind the Bruins in second place in the Atlantic, responded with two goals within nine seconds of each other with eight minutes to play in the frame. After seeing their two-goal lead diminished to nothing, the Bruins were determined to regain the league. They pestered Mike Lee with shots until Mink's shot found its way to the back of the net to give the Bruins a 3-2 lead. Kyle MacKinnon and Trent Whitfield assisted on the go-ahead goal.

Despite being on the penalty kill for 10 minutes of the game, including one penalty in the third, the Bruins held on to their one-goal lead, proving why their penalty kill unit is ranked 9th (84.6%) in the AHL. The Pirates put the pressure on late in the third period, desperate to tie it up, but couldn't get past the Bruins defensemen or Svedberg. The Bruins held on for the 3-2 win, extending their lead in the Atlantic Division to ten points.