Visentin shines in Pirates’ win

( — Mark Visentin stopped 48 of the 49 shots he faced to give the Portland Pirates a 2-1 win over the Providence Bruins Wednesday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

The win is Visentin’s fourth consecutive victory and the third straight win for the Pirates. Visentin (7-6-1) has allowed just three goals over his four-game win streak.

The division rivals remained scoreless until a great individual effort from Providence forward Ryan Spooner, who stickhandled his way through the Pirates’ defense and tucked a shot under the pads of Visentin for his seventh goal of the season at the 8:05 mark of the first.

The Pirates responded early in the second period. Andy Miele took a Jordan Szwarz feed in the slot and beat Providence starter Niklas Svedberg (12-6-1) blocker-side for his 10th goal of the season at 4:09.

Portland would have the opportunity to take the lead later in the second but was unable to capitalize on either of two power plays during the period, and the game remained tied into the third.

The third period belonged to Visentin. The Pirates needed the rookie goaltender to stand tall as they found themselves in a 5-on-3 penalty kill for 1:51 early in the period. Visentin would make a couple of highlight-reel saves, first robbing Chris Bourque in the slot with a quick glove save, and later stretching across the net to stop Craig Cunningham’s attempt on the door step.

Despite being outshot 18-7 in the third, the Pirates capitalized on their best chance, with Rob Klinkhammer picking up a puck in the neutral zone and finding Szwarz, who finished off a 2-on-1 chance with his third goal of the season at 16:13.

The Pirates held on for a 2-1 victory despite being outshot 49-31 for the game.

The Pirates, with nine wins in their last 10 games, improve to 19-11-1-1 on the season and open up a three-point lead over Worcester atop the AHL’s Atlantic Division. The Bruins fall to 16-12-0-2.

The teams meet again in Providence on Friday night.