Portland, ME – The Portland Pirates extended their Atlantic Division lead to six points with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Lowell Devils on Tuesday night in front of 3,904 fans at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
“That was a good hockey game by us,” said Portland Pirates Head Coach Kevin Dineen. “It wasn’t an offense blizzard by any stretch, but I thought we played a very strong game even when we made a big mistake in the second period to give up a goal.”
With the Pirates down 2-1 with five minutes to play in the game, Tyler Ennis notched his 21st goal of the season past Devils goalie Mike McKenna to force the game into overtime.
“He made a nice save on me earlier in the game,” said Tyler Ennis. “I just came from the high position and I just shot where the opening was.”
Ennis, who was named the game’s first star also had a goal in the shootout. Mark Mancari teed up a slap shot to get Portland’s second shootout tally.
“I didn’t know what I was going to,” Mark Mancari said. “Kevin (Dineen) looked at me, and just said fire it.”
Dineen also made the decision to have Lowell shoot first in the shootout.
“I liked ( J.P. Lamoureux’s) confidence,” said Dineen of his goaltender. “I liked the tone of his game. My feeling is he makes that first save and it’s a distinct advantage to us.”
Lamoureux made 28 saves in the victory.
It was a big win for us because Lowell is that type of team if you allow them to stay with their game, they get to you,” said Lamoureux.
T.J. Brennan notched his fifth goal of the season when he fired the puck from the left point. The puck deflected off a Devil’s player on its way past Lowell goalie Mike McKenna 9:11 into the game.
“I thought we did a good job getting pucks to the net, but I thought we could have done a better job getting traffic to the net,” Mancari added. “We kept working hard and it paid off.”
The Devils tied the game up when Cody Murphy found Nick Palmeri in the deep slot while on the power play. Palmieri snapped the shot past J.P. Lamoureux with 4:22 remaining the opening frame.
The Devils went 1-for-2 on the man advantage for the game.
Lowell found more success in the deep slot as Matt Halischuk jammed the puck into the net with 2:17 remaining in the middle period. Kory Nagy fed him with the pass and Stephen Gionta was credited with the secondary assist.
Mike McKenna turned aside 40 shots.
The Pirates were 0-for-3 on the power play.