WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins saw the Portland Pirates erase a 3-0 deficit and later finalize the comeback with a 4-3 shootout win at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Trailing by a score of 3-1, Portland struck twice in the third to eventually send the game into overtime. Jordan Martinook pulled his team within one at 4:42 when he blasted home a slapshot from the hashmarks after a Penguins turnover deep in the defensive zone.
The Pirates’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson would tie the game during a man-advantage, beating a screened Brad Thiessen with 11:30 to go in the contest on a wrist shot to the blocker side.
In the overtime period, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton outshot Portland by a 5-0 margin, but could not get the puck past back-up goaltender Mike Lee.
Lee – making his AHL debut in relief of starter Mike Visentin – stopped all four Penguins players in the shootout. On the other side of the ice, Rob Klinkhammer and Chris Connor converted on their chances to help Portland complete the rally. Lee finished with 28 saves on 29 shots over 58:50 of playing time.
The Penguins raced ahead of the Pirates on goals 44 seconds apart early in the first period. Phil Dupuis helped put Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ahead at 5:26, spinning around the far post and backhanding a pass to the crease that was tapped home by Trevor Smith.
Jayson Megna scored his first professional goal, settling a rebound from a Joe Morrow blueline shot and sliding it through the five-hole of Visentin. The tally made it 2-0 for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as Visentin was pulled just 6:10 in the contest.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton found the back of the net again midway through the second period to build a three-goal cushion thanks to Riley Holzapfel’s seventh goal of the season.
Portland started their rally two minutes after Holzapfel’s goal as Alexandre Bolduc found Chris Brown alone in the slot for a snapshot to the right corner of the Penguins net.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins travel to face Albany Devils at Times Union Center on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 7:00 p.m.
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