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Wolves double up Penguins to grab 2-0 lead in Finals


CHICAGO 4, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 2

Darren Haydar tallied a pair of first-period markers to become the AHL’s all-time playoff leader in both goals and points, and Chicago went on to post a 4-2 win over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Sunday in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals at Allstate Arena. 

Colin Stuart and Joel Kwiatkowski also scored for the Wolves, who take a 2-0 series edge into Game 3 in Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday.

Haydar gave the Wolves a 1-0 lead 7:35 into the contest, taking a bouncing puck at the blue line and outracing a defender before snapping a shot past Penguins goaltender John Curry high to the glove side.

It was Haydar’s 52nd career postseason goal, eclipsing the all-time record of 51 previously held by Jody Gage.

Less than six minutes later, with the Wolves on the power play, Haydar whacked in the rebound of a Kwiatkowski slap shot to make it 2-0. That marked Haydar’s 120th career Calder Cup Playoff point, one better than the 119 totaled by Willie Marshall.

Stuart extended Chicago’s lead to 3-0 at 14:03 of the middle stanza. Jason Krog’s wraparound try failed, but Stuart picked up the carom and lifted it over a sprawling Curry for his third goal of the playoffs.

For the second consecutive game, the Penguins battled back from a 3-0 deficit to make it a 3-2 game. This time, they did it by scoring two power play goals in a 37-second span during the third period.

With his team holding a 5-on-3 advantage, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Tim Brent passed from behind the net out to Mark Ardelan at the high slot, and Ardelan’s slap shot found its way through several bodies in front and past Wolves netminder Ondrej Pavelec at the 4:28 mark.

In the next sequence, Ryan Stone sent a pass down low to Brent, who had plenty of room to tap in his league-leading 12th postseason goal and pull the Penguins within one score.

Kwiatkowski tallied a goal for a sixth straight game at 18:07 – another power play marker – to provide the Wolves with insurance. His goal-scoring streak is the longest in the Calder Cup Playoffs since 2001, when Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Milan Kraft also had a six-gamer.

Chicago has now scored at least one power play goal in nine straight games, and 31 of its 65 playoff goals overall have come on the power play.

Pavelec finished with 21 saves on 23 shots and improved to 14-6 this postseason (2.25, .925). Curry stopped 24 shots in a losing effort. Attendance for Game 2 was 7,023.

The series now shifts to the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre for Game 3 on Wednesday and Game 4 on Friday.

Of the 40 teams to take a 2-0 series lead in the Calder Cup Finals, 38 have gone on to capture the championship (95.0%).