Tom Sestito and Nikita Filatov each recorded a goal and an assist for the Springfield Falcons as they dealt a mild setback to the Portland Pirates, who dropped a 4-1 decision, before 3,731 at the MassMutual Center on Saturday night.
Filatov, a first round draft pick (#6 overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets, only needed 1:53 to strike as he finished off a wrap-around by Sestito, slamming the puck into the net at the far post past Pirates netminder Jhonas Enroth.
Before six minutes had gone by in the game, the Pirates found themselves down by two goals as Falcons captain and former UMaine forward Ben Guite took a rebound off the end boards behind the Pirates net and Enroth with a quick wrister as the Falcons had the Pirates on their heels, outshooting them 5-1 early one.
At 14:29, the Pirates finally got on the board with a goal by defenseman Nick Crawford.
Crawford skated into the left circle and ripped a snap shot that beat Falcons netminder David LeNeveu as the Pirates cut into the lead, 2-1.
That was all the offense the Pirates would muster as they only had three shots in second period as part of their 27 shots in the game.
The Pirates are now six points back of the Atlantic Division leading Manchester Monarchs as they won 5-0 against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Monarchs will face the Worcester Sharks on Sunday, meaning the Pirates will have five games in hand heading to Portland’s next game on Tuesday night.
After a scoreless second period, Sestito found the back of the net from a top the crease, beating Enroth as Springfield took a 3-1 lead at the 8:15 mark of the third period.
With 3:23 to play, Springfield put the game out of reach for Portland when a slap shot by Kyle Wilson went to Tomas Kubalik, who put the rebound by Enroth, giving the Falcons a 4-1 lead.
Enroth made 28 saves on 32 shots in suffering his 14th loss in regulation this season.
Portland went 0-for-1 with the power play, while not giving Falcons any time with the man advantage.