Portland, ME – The Portland Pirates just keep finding ways to win hockey games.
It was another two points for the Pirates with a 5-2 victory over the Albany Devils before a raucous crowd of 6,003 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
The Pirates remain unbeaten in regulation on Civic Center ice, improving to 8-0-1-0.
“We have a real balanced lineup,” said forward Travis Turnbull. “I think from our first line to our fourth line everybody has been contributing. That’s what you need to do to win games every night.”
The Pirates down 1-0 on a goal scored by Matt Anderson tied the game midway into the first period as Dennis McCauley scored his fourth of the season, finishing off a two-on-one break from Jacob Lagace.
At 15:03, Portland made it 2-1 with a power play goal when Paul Byron found a rebound inside the right circle from Alex Biega initial shot, beating Devils goalkeeper Mike McKenna.
Turnbull extended the Pirates lead to 3-1 early in the second period when he took a pass from Corey Tropp, snapping a shot by McKenna from the right circle.
“We kept playing our style of hockey,” he said. “It’s been working for us getting pucks to the net. (The pucks) been going in, it’s just what we’re focus on trying to do, but first and foremost keep the puck out of our net.”
The Pirates made it 4-1 on the power play in the third period when Mark Parrish lifted a backhander from the left side of the crease, under the crossbar by McKenna.
At 10:28, Albany got one back, 4-2, as Nathan Perkovich finished a backdoor pass from David McIntyre.
The Pirates re-established the three goal lead at 14:34 while on an extended two man advantage as Marc-Andre Gragnani whipped a shot on net, beating McKenna from the top of the right circle.
“It was a good win for us,” said Pirates coach Kevin Dineen. “It’s nice to get the power play contributing.”
“It was a good all around effort by us, and I liked we had a little more stability in the third period. Our puck management was an issue in the second period. I thought we improved as the game progressed.”
Jhonas Enroth returned to the Pirates net, making 22 saves for the victory.
Despite being with the Buffalo Sabres for the last week, Enroth snapped his two-game losing streak with the Pirates, improving to 5-2-0 this season.
During his four-game stint with the Sabres, he went 2-1-1 with a 3.43GAA and a .876 save percentage.
“I liked the way (Enroth) came back and solidified us in net,” said Dineen.
“It’s one thing to get up (to the NHL), and get games, but to get the wins. That’s a great way for him to come back knowing that he can go up (to Buffalo) and win hockey games.”