PORTLAND 2, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 1
Ex-Penguin Stephen Dixon netted a pair of goals against his former team, propelling Portland to a 2-1 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
Goaltender Mike McKenna stopped 27 of 28 shots in the winning effort for the Pirates, who grabbed a 3-2 lead in the series.
The teams played scoreless hockey for the entire first period and most of the second before Dixon lit the lamp with 2:49 left in the middle stanza. Petteri Wirtanen and Andy Schneider earned assists on the goal.
Dixon, who spent the last two seasons with the Penguins and played 22 Calder Cup Playoff games in that time, tallied his second of the night just 29 seconds into the third period to make it 2-0 Portland. Brett Festerling and Bobby Ryan picked up the helpers, as Ryan extended his scoring streak to four games (3-4-7).
The Penguins closed to within a goal at 12:12 of the third, as Jonathan Filewich netted his first goal of the playoffs in his sixth game played. The marker came on the power play and was assisted by Kurtis McLean and Ryan Stone.
McKenna picked up his second win in the last three games, and the Pirates matched an AHL record with their 10th one-goal victory of the postseason (10-1).
The series now shifts back to Wilkes-Barre for Game 6 on Friday, and the Pirates can punch their first ticket to the Calder Cup Finals since 1996 with a victory. If necessary, the Penguins would also host Game 7 on Saturday.