Great penalty killing and another stellar performance from goaltender Eddie Lack helped the Chicago Wolves to a 2-1 win Wednesday night over the San Antonio Rampage, forcing a decisive Game 5 in the Western Conference Quarter-Final series.
Steve Reinprecht scored twice and Tim Miller added another, while Lack made 30 saves, including 15 in the first period alone, in a tight checking game 4 that saw the Wolves fail to generate much offense, but capitalize on the chances they did get.
It took just 43 seconds for the Rampage to open the scoring on a Michael Caruso point shot that beat Lack giving them an early 1-0 lead. San Antonio took advantage of three Wolves penalties in the opening period and peppered Lack with 16 shots. It took the Wolves over 12 minutes to record their first shot of the game, their first of only four shots in the period.
Lack continued to make timely saves in the second period, the biggest one on a Wacey Rabbit breakaway. Rabbit deked backhand, but the big Swedish netminder shut the door to keep the Wolves with in striking distance. With just over two minutes to go in the period Reinprecht deflected a Nolan Baumgartner point shot to even the score at 1-1 after 40 minutes.
Reinprecht gave the Wolves the lead 12 minutes into the third period, taking a pass from Mark Mancari and blasting a shot by Rampage goaltender Dov Grumet-Morris. Tim Miller would add an insurance goal into an empty net with 29 seconds left to seal the victory for the Wolves.
Game 5 goes Friday night at Allstate Arena in Chicago at 5:30 p.m. PST.Tidbits
-Canucks prospect Nicklas Jensen missed his second consecutive game with an injury
-Reinprecht returned to the lineup after missing Game 3 with a facial injury
-The Wolves were only able to muster 15 shots on goal despite the victory
-Nolan Baumgartner (2), Mancari (2), Yann Sauve, and Brad Hunt picked up assists
-Mancari and Reinprecht led the way for the Wolves with three shots each
-Reinprecht and Baumgartner finished a team high plus-2
-The Wolves improve to 6-1 in their last 7 elimination games
3 Stars: 1. CHI, Reinprecht 2. CHI. Lack 3. CHI Mancari