PORTLAND 3, HARTFORD 2 (2OT)
Michal Birner netted a power play goal at 9:24 of the second overtime to give Portland a 3-2 road victory over Hartford on Thursday at the XL Center, evening their Atlantic Division Semifinal series at one game apiece.
Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin made 33 saves in net for the Pirates, who will host Games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
For the second consecutive night, the teams played a scoreless first period on Thursday.
With a 5-on-3 advantage, Portland’s Geoff Platt took a slap shot from the high slot that hit Hartford goaltender David LeNeveu and just trickled over the goal line at 2:02 of the middle stanza, giving the Pirates a 1-0 edge.
Mike Ouellette put Hartford ahead 2-1 at 17:50 of the second, poking home a loose puck from a scramble in front of the net.
But the Pirates’ Jason King buried a rebound at 1:49 of the third stanza to make it a 2-2 game, where it stayed until Birner’s decisive tally.