Portland stormed out to a 4-0 lead before the game was 15 minutes old and staved off playoff elimination with a convincing 6-2 road win over the Binghamton Senators on Tuesday night.
Just one night after suffering a 6-1 loss at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, the Pirates rebounded in a big way and cut the B-Sens’ series lead in the Atlantic Division final to 3-2 and forced the series back to Portland, where Game 6 will take place on Friday. Another Pirates victory would lead to a Game 7 on Saturday at Cumberlund County Civic Center in Maine.
First Team AHL all-star Mark Mancari led the Pirates with a playoff-high four points, tallying a pair of goals and assisting on two others. The two-time AHL all-star recorded a goal and two helpers as part of Portland’s first-period onslaught and scored again in the second frame. Colin Stuart
got the Pirates rolling with a power play goal 4:59 after the opening faceoff and Luke Adam
converted another man-advantage opportunity only 1:10 later. Both power plays resulted from delay of game penalties taken by Binghamton.
Mancari stretched the lead to 3-0 at 11:40 on a shorthanded goal, Portland’s first of the postseason, and Mark Parrish
made it 4-0 less than three minutes after that.
Parrish’s goal chased Senators goaltender Robin Lehner
from the game after the rookie made 10 saves on 14 shots. Barry Brust
took the crease for the first time since Game 4 of the B-Sens’ opening-round series vs. Manchester and stopped 25 of 27 shots in relief.
Rookie Mark Voakes
rounded out the Pirates’ offence, Stuart finished with a goal and a helper, and captain Matt Ellis
chipped in two assists in the winning effort.
Portland goaltender Jhonas Enroth
turned aside 25-of-27 shots to pick up his first Calder Cup playoff victory since Apr. 15, 2009, at Providence. Jim O’Brien
and Bobby Butler
scored for the Senators, who fell to 2-4 on home ice this postseason, compared with a 5-1 mark on the road.