Pirates take all six points during busy Valentine's Day weekend
Overtime heroics highlight three-game road winning streak
After losing badly in their last two outings, the Portland Pirates hit the road and got back to winning this weekend. The Pirates edged the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday before posting back-to-back overtime wins over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to build a three-game winning streak.
Pirates 3, Phantoms 1
Mike McKenna stopped a whopping 45 shots to help Portland snap its two-game losing streak. Kyle Rau (16) ended a long goalless drought to open the scoring at 7:57 of the first period. Rocco Grimaldi and Mike Matheson drew the assists. Lehigh Valley evened the game at 8:53 of the second on Chris Conner's power-play goal. Grimaldi (10) bagged the eventual game-winner at 17:40 of the middle frame from Wayne Simpson and McKenna. The veteran goaltender drew a second helper on Greg McKegg's (9) shorthanded, empty-net clincher with 11 seconds left in regulation. Jason LaBarbera took the loss for the Phantoms, finishing with 19 saves.
Pirates 2, Penguins 1 (OT)
Defenseman Mike Matheson (5) scored the winning goal 1:29 into overtime, from Kyle Rau and Rocco Grimaldi, to give visiting Portland a 2-1 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. After goalies Sam Brittain and Jarry Tristan kept things scoreless for the first two periods, Rob Flick (6) put the Pirates on top 3:08 into the third with an unassisted tally. Dominik Simon lit the lamp at the 11:01 mark to tie the game. Brittain made 23 saves to raise his record to 6-8. Tarry finished the tilt with 34 stops.
Pirates 3, Penguins 2 (OT)
Dylan Olsen (3) notched the game-winner 3:31 into overtime to give Portland a second straight win over the Penguins. Wayne Simpson and Rocco Grimaldi drew the helpers on the deciding goal. Wade Megan (6) scored shorthanded from Brett Olson to give the Pirates the lead at 13:08 of the second period. Tom Kostopoulos scored a power-play marker at 3:15 of the third to draw Wilkes-Barre/Scranton even. The Penguins took the lead at 8:23 on a Sahir Gill goal. Kyle Rau (17) sent the game to overtime with a shorthanded goal with 19 seconds remaining in regulation. Megan drew the lone assist on Rau's equalizer. Mike McKenna stopped 32 shots to get the win, while Matt Murray took the loss, finishing with 34 saves.
Portland (29-18-1) will continue its seven-game road trip on Wednesday against the Utica Comets. The Pirates are currently in third place in the AHL's Atlantic Division, one point ahead of the Providence Bruins.