The Hershey Bears were unable advance to Round 2 of the Calder Cup Playoffs Saturday as they fell 5-1 to the Providence Bruins before a crowd of 10,076 at Giant Center.
The Capitals’ AHL affiliate was seeking a sweep of the best-of-5 first-round series but will instead take a 2-1 series lead into Game 4 Sunday in Hershey.
Former Capitals prospect Chris Bourque was named the game’s first star and had two goals and an assist in the Providence win.
Among the highlights in the Bears defeat was the professional debut for Capitals prospect Tom Wilson (first-round pick, 16th overall, 2012 NHL Draft).
Wilson, 19, joined the Bears this week after the Plymouth Whalers were eliminated from the Ontario Hockey League playoffs. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound forward had a minus-1 rating Saturday with two shots on goal and two minor penalties (tripping and roughing).
MAPLE LEAFS PULL EVEN IN BOSTON:
Former Boston Bruins forward Phil Kessel had the game-winning goal Saturday as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat Boston 4-2 in Game 2 of their first-round series.
The Maple Leafs and Bruins are now tied at a game apiece in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Ditto for the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators and for the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders.
The Capitals, who lead the New York Rangers 2-0, are the only favorite in the Eastern Conference to win its first two games on home ice.
USA WINS OPENER AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS:
Defenseman Erik Johnson scored twice and the U.S. rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat Austria 5-3 in the opening game for both countries at the World Hockey Championships in Helsinki, Finland.
David Moss, Tim Stapleton and Aaron Palushaj also scored for the Americans who are coming off a 7th place finish in 2012.
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop stopped 19-of-21 shots in the U.S. win. The Americans continue preliminary round play Sunday against Latvia.