Kalman’s Live Blog: Hershey at Providence, Game 5

rask_save_hersheyAnd so we close the book on the Providence Bruins’ 2008-09 season. Despite the disappointing end, it was a productive year for the P-Bruins, who won the Atlantic Division playoff title and reached the Eastern Conference finals. If AHL success is judged on development and aid to the parent club, then Providence gets an A for providing Boston with the likes of Sobotka, St. Pierre, Matt Hunwick and Byron Bitz throughout the season. The next time we’ll see some of these guys will be development camp in early July.

19:03: And the empty-net goal to stick a fork in Providence by Quinton Laing.

17:20: If I had to pick one Providence player in the lineup tonight (so discounting Sobotka) to make a push for a Boston roster spot in the fall, I’d go with Penner. If he gets stronger this summer I could see him challenging for a third-pair spot.

15:00: A decent amount of pressure by the P-Bruins on the power play but nothing past Neuvirth. So we could be watching the last five minutes of the Providence season.

12:58: Now that they’re pressing the P-Bruins have finally started shooting. It might be too little too late, but now they’re on the power play.

10:19: Who needs Aucoin? The man who took his lineup spot Darren Reid goes to the net and buries one past Rask. That just might be all she wrote for the P-Bruins.

9:13: Schaefer with some fancy puck work but his shot from in front goes wide.

7:40: If this is Rask’s swan song in the AHL, he has accounted for himself well — especially in a do-or-die game during which his teammates got a late wake-up call.

6:46: St. Pierre misses that pass back at the Hershey blue line and Bourque takes advantage by skating end to end and rocketing one from the left circle past Rask for a shorthanded goal. Yes, Ray Bourque’s son has put the P-Bruins just 13 minutes from elimination. Hershey 3, Providence 2.

5:30: This is Lehtonen’s period, as he draws a holding the stick penalty on Dean Arsene on the rush.

4:45: A great indirect pass from Boychuk frees Marchand behind the Hershey defense, but the winger holds the puck too long and nothing substantial develops.

1:57: No one picked up Lehtonen coming off the wall and he makes the Bears pay with a snap shot past Neuvirth’s glove side and into the top corner to tie the game. Providence 2, Hershey 2.

1:09: Just one shot on net during the rest of the Providence power play.

Third period

Second intermission observation: Well, here it is — put up or shut up time for the Providence Bruins. This is where we find out if they really want to take that bus ride to Hershey. The No. 1 goal for the P-Bruins: put some darn pucks on Neuvirth and see if they can get some bounces.

20:00: A wild spinning shot by Boychuk hits the outside of the pipe for Providence’s best bid before the end of the period. Providence will have 1:09 of more power play when the third period opens. At the end of two period, Hershey 2, Providence 1.

19:08: Here’s a chance for Providence to get even, as Perreault gets called for hooking after a P-Bruins rush.

18:58: The P-Bruins are being way too cute with the puck in the Hershey end. It’s not like Neuvirth has been impenetrable in this series.

16:20: So much for home-ice advantage a shoot-in comes off the end boards awkwardly with Rask out of the crease to play it, and Giroux just taps it into the empty net. That’ll make a loss extra painful if that’s the deciding goal. Hershey 2, Providence 1.

15:58: McQuaid has looked a step slow all day and now he gets caught hooking Mink. So here’s a Hershey power play.

15:35: St. Pierre and Schaefer nearly connected on a go-ahead goal. Schaefer throws a hit on the forecheck after the busted play. It looks like Schaefer wants to at least finish up his time in the Bruins organization with a bang or two.

13:00: It almost looked like Rask made that pass right onto Bourque’s stick so he could come back in front of the net and make a dazzling save.

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