Pens stay alive, force Game 6

2011 Calder Cup Playoffs

AHL goaltender of the year Brad Thiessen made 23 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs as regular-season champion Wilkes-Barre/Scranton kept its season alive with a 1-0 road win over Charlotte on Friday at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The Penguins cut their series deficit in the East Division Finals to 3-2 and ensured a Game 6 on Saturday in Wilkes-Barre after the teams quickly head north.

This battle of regular-season offensive powerhouses has been remarkably defensive, and that trend continued on Friday. Just two nights after Charlotte earned a 1-0 victory, a single goal proved enough for the Penguins.

That goal came off the stick of Chris Collins at 8:54 of the third period, and he was assisted on the play by Bryan Lerg and captain Ryan Craig.

Thiessen held the fort from there and made 14 of his 23 saves during the third period alone, improving to 6-5 in 11 playoff appearances to date.

Counterpart Mike Murphy stopped 32 of 33 shots in the loss for the Checkers, who on Saturday night will try to clinch a series in Game 6 on the road for the second straight round. Charlotte eliminated Hershey in the division finals in a Game 6 which was played at the Giant Center.

East Division Finals – Series “J” (best-of-7)
E1-W-B/Scranton Penguins vs. E3-Charlotte Checkers || Preview
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 – CHARLOTTE 2, W-B/Scranton 1 (OT)
Game 4 – Wed., May 4 – CHARLOTTE 1, W-B/Scranton 0
Game 5 – Fri., May 6 – W-B/Scranton 1, CHARLOTTE 0
Game 6 – Sat., May 7 – Charlotte at W-B/Scranton, 7:05
*Game 7 – Mon., May 9 – Charlotte at W-B/Scranton, 7:05