SYRACUSE, N.Y. - There was not much that went the way of the Providence Bruins on Friday night.
The P-Bruins once again found themselves in an early hole and went on to surrender four goals in the second period en route to a 7-2 loss to the Syracuse Crunch in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals at War Memorial Arena. Providence now trails the series, 3-1, with a win-or-go-home Game 5 set for Saturday night.
"They outworked us in every single aspect of the game," said P-Bruins forward Austin Czarnik. "You get outworked, that happens. We're getting some good looks, good opportunities, but they're just not going in for us. We have to keep on working; we made it this far for a reason."
Video: Syracuse crunches Providence 7-2 in Game 4
Providence, which has yet to lead during the series, has now surrendered at least five goals in three of the first four games. Meanwhile, the seven goals allowed in Game 4 tied a season high.
"A lot of it is will, to be honest with you," said Providence head coach Kevin Dean. "We have to get underneath guys, get the puck and get going in the other direction. It's not rocket science. There's breakdowns for sure, but we'll address those."
Providence competed well early, despite falling behind, 1-0, just 3:57 into the contest when Ben Thomas beat Zane McIntyre with a floater from the right point. Less than four minutes later, Jordan Szwarz took a pass from Wayne Simpson (two assists) and connected for his third goal of the series to knot the score.
But quick strikes from the Crunch, one from Matt Taormina during a 5-on-3 with 10 seconds to go in the first and one from Michael Bournival 33 seconds into the second, opened up a 3-1 Syracuse lead.
Providence made one final push when Danton Heinen potted his league-leading ninth goal of the postseason with a power-play tally of his own, just 1:22 after Bournival's marker, to bring the P-Bruins within one. But that was as close as the Providence would get.
Syracuse connected for three more goals in the second, including two backbreakers from Bournival and Gabriel Dumont late in the middle frame to extend their advantage to 6-2 heading into the third.
"When they smell blood, they go for it and they extend the lead well," said Dean, who inserted Malcolm Subban between the pipes for the third period, marking the second straight game Subban has replaced McIntyre. "That being said, we had some chances, we're right back in it. We get some chances to take the lead and they don't go in. It's disheartening after a while.
"It's 3-2, we're getting some looks and they don't go in. They come down and score, that's disheartening for our group, especially a younger group. Credit to them, they sniff blood and they bury their chances and get some momentum.
"We just had a hard time capitalizing on our chances. If we get the lead or tie it up in the second period, I think it's a different game."
Video: Don Sweeney discusses Providence's playoff run