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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Bulldogs fire blanks as Hellberg, Milwaukee Admirals shut out Hamilton 2-0

Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 5:45 PM / News

The Canadian Press

HAMILTON - Magnus Hellberg made 25 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Milwaukee Admirals defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs 2-0 in the American Hockey League Sunday.

Juuso Puustinen's second-period goal stood up as the winner for the Admirals (25-21-6), who won on consecutive days after a 3-1 triumph in Toronto on Saturday. Chris Mueller added an empty-net goal.

Dustin Tokarski stopped 21 of 22 shots for the Bulldogs (20-26-6), who suffered their eighth shutout loss of the season.

The first scoring chance of the game fell to the Bulldogs, with Hamilton enjoying a power play after Milwaukee was penalized for too many men on the ice at 5:28 of the first.

A centring pass found an unmarked Gabriel Dumont in front of the Admirals' net, but the centre could not corral the puck and managed only a weak wrist shot that Hellberg easily turned aside.

Milwaukee began to apply pressure as the first period came to close, and Michael Liambas had the Admirals' best chance to score with two minutes to play. A scrum developed in front of Tokarski, and the puck trickled to Liambas in the low slot, who slid the puck just wide of the near post.

A Hamilton counter-attack early in the second nearly opened the scoring, as Zach Stortini received the cross-ice pass at the end of a 2-on-1 break, but fired his wrist shot directly at Hellberg.

Puustinen broke the deadlock at 12:41 off a goalmouth scrum. The puck bounced through Tokarski's crease as Kevin Henderson batted it to Puustinen, and the winger snapped a wrist shot high and past Tokarski's outstretched glove.

The Bulldogs showed urgency early in the third and Steve Quailer nearly levelled the game, but misfired on a cross-ice pass that found him in the slot.

Hamilton pulled the goaltender with just over a minute to play, but could not find an equalizer.

Instead, Mueller sealed the result by adding an empty-net goal with nine seconds to play.

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round