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Pack fight back to even series with Portland

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

The Rangers' AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, continued its remarkable playoff run on Sunday night in Portland, Maine, coming back from a 2-1 deficit with three unanswered goals to beat the host Pirates 4-2 and tie the Atlantic Division finals series at two games apiece.

All four Hartford goals were scored by rookies, as Daniel Girardi, Jarkko Immonen, Greg Moore and Lauri Korpikoski all found the net. Alexandre Giroux, tied for second in AHL playoff scoring with 16 points, had two assists for the Pack, and Chad Wiseman led all scorers with three assists.

Chris Holt, another rookie who tended goal for the Rangers during one regular-season game in 2005-06, was outstanding with 39 saves for Hartford. Since becoming the team's No. 1 goalie following a season-ending shoulder injury to Al Montoya, Holt has gone 4-2 in the Wolf Pack net.

Moore and Korpikoski, who both joined the Wolf Pack late in the season after signing their first pro contracts with the Rangers, notched the game-winning and insurance goals. Moore, a four-year member of the University of Maine team, notched the winner at 12:37 of the second period, just over two minutes after Immonen had tied the game at 2-2.

Korpikoski gave the Pack a two-goal lead on a power play at 4:16 of the third period. A first-round draft pick in 2004, Korpikoski beat fellow Finn Jani Hurme for his first playoff goal.

Earlier in the game, Girardi, a defenseman, had made it 1-0 on a power play at 14:12 of the first period. Wiseman and Giroux assisted on the goal, which was Girardi's second in two games.

With his two assists, Giroux ran his multi-point scoring streak to five games.

Bruno St. Jacques and Pierre Parenteau scored for Portland, which lost in regulation for the first time since Apr. 8.

Portland, the Atlantic Division's regular-season champion, would have to win both of its last two games at home to avoid a Game 7 in Hartford next week. The Wolf Pack already eliminated Manchester in a Game 7 during the first round.

The series resumes with Thursday night with a third consecutive game at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland. Due to building conflicts, the Pirates were forced to use their home-ice advantage for Games 3-6, giving the Pack home ice for a possible Game 7.
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