03/16/2013 10:00 PM
The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins used three unanswered goals to rally past the Portland Pirates Saturday night by a 3-2 score at the Cumberland County Civic Center in front of 6,086 of the Pirates faithful. Jeff Zatkoff made 21 saves on 23 shots for the Penguins and Brian Dumoulin scored in his second professional game in his home state to lead Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. With the win, the Penguins draw within 2 points of the Pirates for the 5th spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Pirates built a lead early in the first period. Andy Miele took a pass in the neutral zone from Ethan Werek that sent him behind the Penguins defense, scoring on the breakaway to give the Pirates the 1-0 lead at 3:24 of the first. Thirty seconds later, Boris Valabik stopped a clearing attempt at the blue line and sent a shot through traffic past Zatkoff to double the Pirates at 3:54. The tension between the conference rivals would not boil over until the 15:23 mark of the first, when Darian Dziurzynski dropped the gloves with Penguins defenseman Alex Grant in the only bout of the night.
The Pirates used a solid penalty kill and the solid play of starter Chad Johnson to hold on to the lead in the second period. The Pirates managed to kill off a Maxim Goncharov penalty 8:34 into the period, but were tested again shortly. Mathieu Brodeur was penalized for playing the puck with a broken stick at the 11:09 mark, and thirty seconds later Mark Louis would be sent off for a high stick. The Penguins capitalized on the 5 on 3, as Biddeford native Brian Dumoulin buried a wrist shot from just inside the left faceoff circle to make it 2-1 at 12:36 of the second. The Penguins received five more minutes of power play time, as Goncharov was assessed a five minute major for boarding as well as a game misconduct at the 13:22 mark of the second. Portland limited the Penguins’ chances on the five minute man advantage, and killed the penalty without allowing a score.
After killing off the remainder of a Warren Peters penalty to start the third, the Penguins wasted little time to even the game up at two. Joey Mormina stepped into a shot at the hash marks, firing the puck over the shoulder of Johnson for his third of the season at 1:13 of the third. The Penguins took their first lead of the night at 10:23, as Trevor Smith had a deflected shot land at his feet and beat Johnson glove side for his 18th on the year to take the 3-2 lead. The Pirates had a final chance on the man advantage to tie the game as Mormina was called for elbowing at 16:49. The Penguins penalty kill and Zatkoff were able to deny the Pirates on the power play, even with a temporary 6 on 4 advantages with an empty net for the Pirates.
The Pirates fall to 34-22-3-2 on the year, with Chad Johnson dropping to 16-13-1-2. The Penguins improve to 34-26-2-1, just 2 points back of Portland in the Eastern Conference.
The Pirates get back to action Friday for the start of a 2 game series against the St. John’s IceCaps afternoon. Puck drop is set for 3 PM from the DCU Center in Worcester.The game can be heard on 95.5 and 95.9 WPEI in the Portland area, 92.7FM and 100.7 FM WOXO FM in the Lewiston/Auburn area, and online on the WLOB radio player and AHL Live. Tickets are still available by calling (207) 828-4665 ext. 350 or online at ticketmaster.com