HERSHEY, Pa. – Ryan Potulny’s power play goal at 2:57 of overtime gave the Hershey Bears a 4-3 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday at GIANT Center to force a Game 4 in the best-of-five Eastern Conference Quarterfinal.
After the Penguins came back from a two-goal deficit, Hershey’s Kyle Greentree gave the Bears the lead once again with seven minutes left in regulation. A failed clearing attempt by the Penguins left Greentree alone in the slot, where he one-timed Jacob Micflikier’s pass off the near post and into the net.
With 2:17 remaining in the third, a late man-advantage helped Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to rally once again and force overtime as Alex Grant’s rifle shot from the point slipped through the pads of Hershey goaltender Dany Sabourin.
It would be a power play in the opening minutes of overtime that allowed the Bears to skate away with the victory. Penguins goalie Brad Thiessen got a blocker on a shot from the point by Tomas Kundratek, but could not seal the left post before Potulny fired back the rebound at 2:57.
Despite recording only six shots during the first period, the Bears were able to take a 2-0 lead into the intermission. D.J. King started the scoring at 6:15 as he threw a pass from behind the Penguins’ net that banked off of a skate and across the goal line.
Hershey then went up by two when Cameron Schilling fired a slapshot from the far point that beat a screened Thiessen to the glove side with three minutes until the break.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got on the board just 38 seconds in with the help of some carry-over power play time. After Jason Williams found Walker with a cross-zone pass, the Penguins right-winger swept a backhand shot that Sabourin denied with his skate, but Cal O’Reilly cut in front to deposit the loose puck.
The Penguins knotted the score at 6:22 of the third with Paul Thompson taking advantage of a turnover deep in the Hershey zone and centering in front to a wide-open Eric Tangradi for his first goal of the post season.
Thiessen took his first loss of the playoffs with 15 saves on 18 shots. Sabourin stopped 26 in the win for Hershey.
Game 4 will be played Friday, April 27 at 7:00 PM at the GIANT Center.