Kyle McKinnon recorded two goals in the game, both in the first period, as the Bruins improve to 23-21-3-3 for 50 points on the season, which moved them into seventh place in the AHL’s Eastern Conference. The Pirates, who are in the midst of a four-game road trip that includes three games in three days, had their two-game winning streak snapped, falling to 10th place with a record of 23-20-2-3, only a point behind the Bruins, but have two games in hand.
Portland took a 1-0 lead, after controlling a good portion of a five-on-three power play, on a five-on-ofour power-play goal by Marc-Antoine Pouliot at 15:44 of the first period as he tipped Patrick O’Sullivan’s blast under the crossbar, beating PBruins’ netminder Anton Khudobin.
McKinnon responded for the Bruins, scoring twice in a 23 second span, starting with his first goal only a minute later.
McKinnon racing down the ice, on a two-on-one rush, fired a wrist shot from the left side that beat Pirates’ goaltender Justin Pogge with 3:16 remaining in the period.
A turnover by Brett Hextall led to McKinnon’s second goal as Kirk MacDonald chipped a shot on net that McKinnon got a piece of his stick on, beating Pogge to give Providence a 2-1 lead at 17:07 of the first period.
Portland tied the game at 2-2 with their second power-play goal of the game as Pouliot – his second goal of the game – put a backhander past Khudobin off a rebound only three minutes into the second period.
Again, like the first period, the Pirates gave up a pair of quick goals late in the period as Providence built a 4-2 lead after forty minutes of play.
Trent Whitfield, who played parts of seven seasons with the Pirates, regained the lead for the Bruins, 4-2, with 3:52 remaining in the game, tipping the puck past Pogge.
Only 43 seconds later, the Bruins made it 4-2 when Zach Hamill, who recently cleared waivers after playing 16 games with the Boston Bruins, snapped a shot over the glove of Pogge at 16:51 of the second period.
Matt Watkins extended his scoring streak to three games (1g, 3a) with a goal only two minutes into the third period, beating Khudobin on a breakaway to pull Portland within a goal, 4-3.
The Pirates have yet to win in Providence this season and had their losing streak to the Bruins reach two games as Calle Ridderwall – one goal, two assists – took a shot from the right corner that beat Pogge, who finished the night with 27 saves on 32 shots, at 14:32 of the third period.
The Bruins made it 6-3 with an empty-net goal from Matt Bartkowski at the 18:52 mark.
Portland will travel to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a game tomorrow night before facing the revamped Worcester Sharks and former Pirate Tim Kennedy since his trade to the San Jose organization.