Torey Krug extends point streak to five games

Providence, R.I. -
The Providence Bruins fell to the Hershey Bears 5-2 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Jamie Tardif and Christian Hanson scored in the loss, and goaltenders Niklas Svedberg and Michael Hutchinson made a combined 30 saves.

As it goes with playoff hockey, the Bruins and the Bears began the first of their quarterfinal match-up with high intensity and hard hits. Hershey unleashed an all-out offensive attack right off the opening faceoff, but Providence's Svedberg was all over the crease, making sure no shot got through. The first real action of the game came with matching penalties from Providence's Jordan Caron (roughing) and Hershey's Garrett Mitchell (goaltender interference). During the four-on-four, opportunities abounded for both teams, but neither could make anything click. With seven to go in the first, Caron again found himself heading to the box, this time for an interference call, and the Bears quickly made him pay. Jeff Taffe found Joey Crabb alone in front of the net, and Crabb rifled it past Svedberg to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. The power play marker was Crabb's first of the post season. A slashing call against Trent Whitfield and a hooking call against Dmitry Orlov shortly after gave both teams late-period chances, and while Providence came dangerously close to an equalizer, the first ended in a 1-0 Hershey advantage.

With their tally from the first, Hershey took the lead and ran away with it. Providence's Craig Cunningham got whistled for slashing, with Whitfield going off seconds later on the same call, giving the Bears an extended 5-on-3 man advantage. Hershey didn't wait long to capitalize on either penalty. On a rapid tic-tac-toe in front of Svedberg, Casey Wellman netted his first of the post season on assists from Orlov and Taffe, putting Hershey up 2-0. About 40 seconds later, John DiSalvatore cashed in, assisted by Nicolas Deschamps and Tomas Kundratek. The goal was DiSalvatore's first of the post season and widened Hershey's once again. The Bruins had a great opportunity when Cameron Schilling went off for high sticking, but despite some excellent chances from Ryan Spooner, they were unable to create any sort of result. Right after Schilling's penalty ended, the Bears again cranked up the offense, on a Orlov rocket from the point. The goal was assisted by Peter LeBlanc and Ryan Stoa, and led the Providence bench to replace Svedberg in net with Michael Hutchinson. Providence successfully killed off a roughing penalty to Garnet Exelby, and with six to go in the second, finally got themselves on the board. Caron and Exelby teamed up behind the net, and fed it in front for Jamie Tardif, who roofed the redirection past Bears netminder Philip Grubauer. The goal cut the Hershey lead to three after a heavy review from the on-ice officials. Hershey headed into intermission with a 4-1 lead.

Providence cut the Bears' lead in half early in the third, when Christian Hanson gloved down a Torey Krug shot and slapped one past Grubauer. The secondary assist came from Exelby, and the sequence extended Krug's point streak (2g7a) to five games. The P-Bruins were given another chance minutes later, on a Taffe roughing minor, but were unable to convert despite a plethora of solid chances. Jared Knight's interference penalty shortly after was successfully killed off by Providence, keeping the game in Hershey's favour at 4-2 at the midway point of the third. Providence took control of the offense for the remainder of the period, and with two to go, the bench signalled for Hutchinson to come off, giving the P-Bruins a 6-on-5 advantage. This was soon nulled, as Hershey's Kundratek was whistled for crosschecking, and the faceoff returned to the Providence defensive zone. As soon as Providence won the faceoff and took the puck back up the ice, Hutchinson skated off again and a Providence timeout was called. The P-Bruins' late period push was strong, but a Hershey clear attempt led to a short-handed empty netter from Michael Latta, making the final score a 5-2 Hershey win.