Shane Endicott‘s goal 32 seconds into overtime gave Wilkes-Barre a 4-3 win in the pivotal Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final on Tuesday night.
The Penguins take a 3-2 series lead back to the Wachovia Arena with a chance to close out the series on Friday.
Hartford made a valiant comeback from three goals down to force overtime, with Chad Wiseman (2g, 1a) and Layne Ulmer (1g, 2a) leading the charge.
Wilkes-Barre had built a 3-0 lead on goals by Matt Murley, Tomas Surovy and Eric Meloche, but the Wolf Pack swung the momentum in their favor with two goals 64 seconds apart late in the second period.
Andy Chiodo returned to the crease and stopped 22 shots, but still upped his record to 8-3. Jason LaBarbera took the loss, making 18 saves.
The loss was Hartford’s first in five overtime contests this postseason. The Penguins improved to 4-4 as they played their AHL-record eighth OT game of the Calder Cup 2004 Playoffs.
Game 6 is Friday night at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza, where the Penguins faithful provide one of the biggest home-ice advantages in the AHL. The teams split Games 1 and 2 of the series in Wilkes-Barre before the Pens took two of three at the Hartford Civic Center.