Penguins pull even with 3-0 win

Brad Thiessen made 34 saves and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton rebounded from another Game 1 loss with a 3-0 win over Charlotte at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday night.

The Penguins and Checkers are even at one game apiece in their East Division finals as the series shifts to Charlotte for the next three contests, beginning Monday night.

Wilkes-Barre, which has lost 13 of its last 16 series openers, was facing the possibility of a second straight 0-2 series deficit to begin the 2011 postseason but got goals from Brett Sterling (15:17 of the second period), Chris Collins (2:22 of the third) and Ryan Craig (empty net at 19:17 of the third) to prevail in a physical battle that saw the teams whistled for a combined 22 minor penalties.

Thiessen (5-3) stopped 16 shots in the opening period, 10 more in the second and eight in the third for his first career AHL playoff shutout. The AHL’s goaltender of the year in 2010-11 now has a 1.64 goals-against average in the postseason to go with a .941 save percentage.

Mike Murphy (4-2) allowed two goals on 30 shots as the Checkers saw their four-game winning streak snapped.

East Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
E1-W-B/Scranton Penguins vs. E3-Charlotte Checkers
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 28 – Charlotte 3, W-B/SCRANTON 2
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 30 – W-B/SCRANTON 3, Charlotte 0
Game 3 – Mon., May 2 – W-B/Scranton at Charlotte, 7:00
Game 4 – Wed., May 4 – W-B/Scranton at Charlotte, 7:00
Game 5 – Fri., May 6 – W-B/Scranton at Charlotte, 7:00
*Game 6 – Sat., May 7 – Charlotte at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 7 – Mon., May 9 – Charlotte at W-B/Scranton, 7:05