After dropping a 3-1 decision to the Syracuse Crunch on Friday, the Portland Pirates got swept by the Providence Bruins in a home-and-home on Saturday and Sunday. The Pirates slid into fourth place in the Atlantic Division, muddying the waters on a potential playoff berth for the AHL club this season.
Providence 3, Portland 1
Jeremy Smith made 46 stops to lead the P-Bruins to a 3-1 win Saturday night in Portland. Providence defenseman Colin Miller opened the scoring with an unassisted goal at 16:10 of the first period. Max Talbot added to the lead at the 16:14 mark of the second, from Chris Breen and Seth Griffith. Rocco Grimaldi (14) pulled one back for the Pirates at 8:15 of the final frame. The goal was set up by Wayne Simpson and Cameron Gaunce. Bruins' forward Brandon DeFazio put the game away 2:40 later, with the assists going to Frank Vatrano and Joonas Kemppainen. Mike McKenna, in his first start since returning from the Florida Panthers, took the loss, finishing with 28 saves.
Providence 4, Portland 3 (OT)
Frank Vatrano scored his league-leading 29th goal forty seconds into overtime to give the Bruins the win in Providence. The goal completed a hat trick for the deadly Vatrano. Joonas Kemppainen bagged the other Bruins' goal, his first of the season, to open the scoring 17:13 into the first period. After Vatrano lit the lamp nineteen seconds later, Dylan Olsen (4) notched a power-play goal with one second remaining in the period, from Brent Regner and Greg McKegg, to cut Providence's lead to 2-1. Brett Olson (9) tied the game at the 16:52 mark of the second, with the assists going to Wade Megan and Rob Flick. After Vatrano put the P-Bruins ahead with his second tally at 8:48 of the third, Rocco Grimaldi (15) got the Pirates a point when he scored with fifty-eight seconds left in regulation. The game-tying goal was set up by Cameron Gaunce. Jeremy Smith made 27 stops to get the best of Mike McKenna again. McKenna finished the game with 41 saves.
Portland (31-22-3-1) is off until Friday when they host the Toronto Marlies at Cross Insurance Arena.