Game 5 Thursday in Chicago
Milwaukee, WI--Thirty-seven was a lucky number at the Bradley Center on Wednesday night as the Milwaukee Admirals shutout the Chicago Wolves 2-0 to even the best-of-seven West Division Semifinal match-up at two games each.
Milwaukee netminder Pekka Rinne
stopped all 37 shots that he faced. Coincidentally, that number of saves also matched the number of Rich Peverley, who scored the game winning goal early in the third period. Peverley made his return back to Milwaukee in his first game back after playing with the Nashville Predators for the last month and a half.
The game opened with the same themes that had played so much of a role in the first three games of the series: physical play and goaltending. Much of the first period was played end to end as the teams tried to shake off the nerves. Despite being outshot 13-7 in the period, the Admirals had the best opportunity of the period when Mark Matheson fired a shot directly in front of Chicago netminder Ondrej Pavelec as the Wolves were caught out of position. Pavelec got back to the net in time and was able to smother the shot in his chest.
It wasn’t until the 14:15 mark of the third period that Milwaukee was able to break the tie. Milwaukee was struggling to stop the Wolves’ offensive attack and as they finally cleared the zone, Brian Schmidt fired a pass to a streaking Peverley who cut through the Chicago defense. Peverley raced to the right faceoff circle before firing a wrist shot past Pavelec’s outstretched stick.
Milwaukee struggled to keep the Wolves at bay as Rinne made save after save to keep the Chicago off of the board. The Admirals were also able to successfully kill off a Nolan Yonkman high-sticking penalty midway though the final stanza.
The Admirals got some breathing room late in the period as Antti Pihlstrom
converted on a breakaway after he poked away a whiffed shot by Chicago defender Nathan Oystrick. Pihlstrom slipped between two defenders before beating Pavelec in the upper left corner on a wrist shot from the Chicago slot.
The shutout for Rinne marked his fourth career playoff shutout in the AHL. Before tonight, Rinne’s last playoff shutout came on June 10, 2006 in game three of the Calder Cup Finals against Hershey.
With the victory, the Admirals evened the series at two games each and they will travel to Chicago for game five tomorrow night at the All-State Arena. The teams will return back to the Bradley Center on Saturday night for game six for a 7:30 pm face-off. If a game 7 is necessary, it will take place in Chicago on Monday night.