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Henrique scores two goals as Spitfires beat Rangers 3-0 to pull within 3-2

NHL.com @NHL

WINDSOR, Ont. - The Windsor Spitfires survived to see another playoff game.

Adam Henrique scored his 12th and 13th goals of the playoffs and Philipp Grubauer picked up his second shutout of the post-season as the Spitfires defeated the Kitchener Rangers 3-0 on Thursday.

With the victory, the Spitfires now trail the Rangers 3-2 in their best-of-seven Ontario Hockey League Western Conference final series.

"I'm feeling more comfortable and I came into tonight with more confidence after Game 4 (an 8-5 Windsor win)," said Grubauer, who stopped 28 shots. "I don't care about the shutout, I just wanted the win."

The defending Memorial Cup champion Spitfires, who made history last spring when they became the first team ever to capture the Memorial Cup after dropping the first two games of the major junior hockey championship tournament, showed the same kind of resiliency Thursday, taking control of the game from the opening faceoff and never relenting.

Taylor Hall opened scoring when he deflected a rising wrist shot from just inside the blue-line by Greg Nemisz. The marker was the only goal in a first period that saw the Spitfires outshoot the Rangers 17-7.

Henrique made it 2-0 lead early in the second when he poked home a rebound off a shot by Hall that was lying in the crease behind Rangers netminder Brandon Maxwell.

Henrique earned his second goal of the game into an empty net in the third period to round out the scoring in the game.

Windsor head coach Bob Boughner called his team's effort their best of the series so far.

"It wasn't a complete effort for 60 minutes, but it was close," Boughner said. "We took too many penalties and tonight it was particularly difficult because some of our best players were the ones taking the penalties."

Boughner made a point of praising his veteran players.

"We are an older team, and we have a lot of guys who have played in some big games over the past couple of seasons," he said. "We have a lot of leadership on this club and it came to the fore tonight."

Maxwell made 42 saves in picking up his second consecutive loss of the series.

Special teams went a long way in deciding the outcome. The Rangers couldn't take advantage of their six opportunities with the man advantage including a two-man advantage in the first period. The Spitfires didn't score on either of their two power-play chances.

Game 6 goes Friday night in Kitchener.

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