Head coach Bruce Cassidy lost handily on a gamble when he elected to keep holding up the hot hand in net. Niklas Svedberg, an assertive winner on both Friday and Saturday, started for the third consecutive game day and brooked a beating for 40 minutes before giving way to Michael Hutchinson to commence the third period.
The visiting Sound Tigers sculpted an initial 2-0 lead within the first 10:45 of action. Two searing slappers by Bruins blueliner David Warsofsky deleted that deficit, his first bid going home off the twig of a screening Christian Hanson and the second hitting the mesh with 0.5 seconds left before intermission.
But that Mark Johnson-esque equalizer had a limited time value for the P-Bruins and their momentarily enlivened Dunkin Donuts Center home crowd of 4,876. Providence could not do much to carry over any energy to the clean sheet.
Instead, the Sound Tigers tallied three unanswered goals in the middle frame, Travis Hamonic renewing the lead with a point shot off a draw before Nino Niederreiter and David Ullstrom each converted a power play.
Bridgeport could coast by the time John Persson finalized the 6-2 score with 2:56 gone in the third period.
For the Providence faithful, Warsofsky’s output was one solitary savory ingredient on Sunday’s sandwich of stats that is otherwise defined by expired trimmings and musty white bread.
Points for Warsofsky, the lone boon for the Bruins amidst Sunday’s mess. The sophomore defenseman thus tripled his total output to three points this season and amassed the eighth two-point outing of his professional career.
Shots on goal apiece for Warsofsky and Chris Bourque, who combined to constitute exactly one-third of the tests issued to Bridgeport backstop Anders Nilsson. The rest of the Providence strike force had three individuals―Matt Barkowski, Torey Krug and Ryan Spooner―taking three apiece while Jordan Caron, Craig Cunningham and Justin Florek registered two hacks apiece.
The remaining 10 Providence skaters combined for five shots.
Consecutive games with a penalty for Lane MacDermid, a streak that is as old as this calendar month and stands as a league-high on the year.
The veteran plugger and puncher tussled with Blair Riley immediately off a draw on Providence property at 7:16 of the first period. He later took a two-minute charging minor, which helped to set up Ullstrom’s second goal with 18 seconds remaining in the middle frame, then fought Brett Gallant off the ensuing draw.
Individual point-getters for the Sound Tigers, led by Niederreiter’s goal and assist and Ullstrom’s 2-1-3 log. Niederreiter had a hand in both of Bridgeport’s power-play goals to bring his team-best totals to 3-6-9 on the man advantage and 9-8-17 overall.
Opposing shots on the P-Bruins net, matching a season high that was set less than 24 hours previous in Portland. The Bruins were outshot in all three of their games this weekend, entering Friday night’s action at 2-1-0 in that situation and emerging from Sunday’s bout with the same ratio at 4-2-0.
Combined penalty minutes between the contesting clubs, the most in a single P-Bruins game this season, shattering a previous season high of 70 during a Nov. 2 bout with Worcester.
A little more than half of those cumulative minutes came in the form of five fighting majors to each side. Another 20 were owed to coincidental 10-minute misconducts incurred by the Bruins’ Krug and the Sound Tigers’ Brandon DeFazio.
In all, there were eight pairs of joint penalties to each side on the day. Meanwhile, in a reversal of recent roles, the P-Bruins went empty on six power plays while surrendering two special teams strikes on four chances to Bridgeport.
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