The P-Bruins split their first two games at home. Providence fell behind early in Game 1, then rallied to take the lead before Charlotte earned a 5-4 win. In Game 2, the P-Bruins let a two-goal lead get away, but pulled it together in the third period to come away with a critical 4-2 win.
“We’re playing a team that is potent, so they are going to get those blitzes,’’ said coach Jay Leach after Sunday’s game. “We had a great response in the third. We put that behind us and we were able to get one by (Charlotte goalie Alex Nedeljkovic) midway through.
“We were able to park what happened (at the end of the second). Against the best team in the league, it’s going to happen and we’re going to have to be resilient. Our response was exactly what we were looking for.’’
Here’s the good, bad and ugly.
*** The P-Bruins look to Chris Breen, Anton Blidh and Jordan Szwarz for leadership and all three delivered in a big way in Game 1 after Charlotte jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Breen pummeled Dan Renouf in front of the Checkers bench at the end of the first period. Blidh and Szwarz scored a goal and an assist each.
*** Cooper Zech scored goals in both games. His solo, end-to-end dash in Game 1 was a beauty.
*** Jack Studnicka was a standout in Game 2, scoring a nice goal off a Lee Stempniak feed and then making a gorgeous pass to Peter Cehlarik for the game-winning goal. He had a game-high 6 shots.
*** With his goal, Cehlarik snapped a 10-game goal-less streak.
*** Dan Vladar was rock-solid with 25 saves in winning Game 2.
*** Giving up goals in bunches was a problem for the P-Bruins. They allowed two goals in 2:23 before Game 1 was four minutes old, then allowed the Checkers to score twice in 1:19 in the second period of Game 2.
*** Just 16 seconds after tying Game 1 on Paul Carey’s goal, Providence gave up Bobby Sanguinetti’s game-winner in the third period. Both goals appeared to deflect in off a defenseman’s skate at the net front.
*** Sanguinetti drove Gemel Smith’s head into the glass midway through the first period of Game 2, knocking Smith out of the game. There was no call on the play. Curious to see if the AHL opts to suspend Sanguinetti.
*** The next three games are in Charlotte, where the Checkers were 26-7-5-0 in the regular season.
***Injured: Gemel Smith, Anders Bjork.