Stay out of the penalty box.
The Pirates gave up a pair of power-play goals, falling to the Adirondack Phantoms, 6-3, in their American Hockey League season opener before 4,801 at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Saturday.
Pirates’ coach Ray Edwards called it not very smart hockey as the Pirates gave up eight power plays opportunities to the Phantoms, included a pair of five-on-three’s.
“It’s a huge lesson for us to understand that we have to be more discipline,” said Edwards. “They have to manage the game, and in those situations we didn’t manage the game very well.”
Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn, who played for the Philadelphia Flyers last season and is currently with Adirondack due to the NHL labor dispute, both calculated in the game-tying goal for the Phantoms, a five-on-three, at the 13:51 mark of the second period.
Couturier found the rebound at the right post, stuffing it past Portland goalie Chad Johnson to tie the game at 3-3.
Less than five minutes into the third period Tye McGinn gave Adirondack its first lead of the game, 4-3, with another power-play goal.
“We were in a good situation about halfway through the third period,” said Edwards. “We started running into penalty trouble and they tied the game on one of the five-on-three’s. In the third period, we had a couple bad penalties and we’re down chasing the game.”
The Pirates had an opportunity to even the game as Matt Ford was called for slashing at 14:04 of the third period, but just 40 seconds later Schenn beat Pirates’ defenseman David Rundblad with a nasty inside-out move, snapping a shot past Johnson for a shorthanded goal to give the Phantoms a two-goal lead, 5-3.
Schenn added his second goal of the night with an empty-net goal with 51 seconds left in the game to seal the victory for the Phantoms.
Johnson made 42 saves on 47 shots in his first game for the Pirates, while Scott Munroe 30 saves for the win.
The Pirates opened the scoring in the game when Ethan Werek came out of the penalty box after taking a slashing penalty and beat Munroe with a quick snap shot at the 10:15 mark of the first period.
Harry Zolnierczyk tied the game at 1-1 as his pass attempt was redirected inadvertently by a Pirates’ stick past Johnson with 1:36 to play in the first period.
Only 45 seconds later, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who appeared in all 82 games for the Phoenix Coyotes last season, scored his first goal as a member of the Pirates with a wrist shot through a screen from the slot, regaining Portland’s one goal lead, 2-1.
It was a short-lived lead as Garrett Roe spun around in the slot, slinging the puck into the net past Johnson at 19:41 of the first period.
Andy Miele put the Pirates back out front for the third time in the game with a goal just 1:14 into the second period. With both teams skating four skaters aside, Miele ripped a quick snap shot from the right side, handcuffing Munroe.
“Overall, the game was going along just like we had hoped,” said Edwards. We were competing really hard, our competitive level was high.”
NOTES: Defenseman Mike Stone went down with an apparent injury in the third period. He did return to the game, but Edwards noted that he would be re-evaluated on a day-to-day basis… Jordan Martinook is out of the lineup after suffering a right leg injury during the final preseason and is listed as week-to-week.