LEWISTON, Maine — Philip Samuelsson finished with a career-high offensive game and Simon Despres scored twice in a 4-2 win over the Portland Pirates at the Androscoggin Bank Coilsee last night.
The Penguins will return to Providence today for in a rematch with the Bruins, who took a 5-1 victory at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Friday.
Despres snapped a 1-1 deadlock at 8:46 of the second period when he drove a shot from just outside the circle to the left of Pirates goalie Mark Visentin.
The go-ahead score was the first for the Penguins blue liner since his recall from Pittsburgh last Thursday.
Samuelsson added an assist on Despres second period tally, and late in the period collected the game-winning goal as well with 2:25 to go.
Despres got his second of the night, and fifth goal of the season at the 4:20 mark of the third
The Pirates came into the game with a pedestrian home record of 6-4-0-5.
In spite of a record that has relegated them to 13th place in the Eastern Conference, the Pirates entered last night’s action, ranked sixth in penalty killing percentage. Penguins defenseman Scott Harrington however, got the visitors untracked early when he knocked home a goal from the low slot, just 18 seconds into a power play. Pirates defenseman Chris Brown precipitated the man advantage for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, as a result of a holding call only 49 seconds into the first period.
The Penguins by contrast, exhausted all three of the Pirates’ power play opportunities in the opening period, including a five-on-three eclipsing a span of 1:41.
Friday night in Providence, a persistent Bruins team made certain that coach Hynes’ squad found the going rough in terms of getting a consistent offensive flow. Last night at the Coilsee, although outshot 21-15 through two stanzas, the Pens were efficient in taking advantage of the Pirates miscues in their own end, in forging a 3-1 lead.
The Pirates could not convert on a double minor to Harrington with 3:20 left in regulation. Penguins goalie Eric Hartzell made four saves in the penalty killing sequence.
Hartzell finished with 27 saves while upping his record to 6-2-1.
• Pens defenseman Brian Dumoulin, a native of nearby Biddeford, Maine, returned to the Coilsee, when he had helped his high school team, the Biddeford Tigers, win a state championship back in 2007-08.
• The Pirates moved approximately 35 miles northwest from their long-standing home arena, the Cumberland County Civic Center in downtown Portland, when the principles involved were unable to settle their financial disagreements last September.
The Coilsee housed the Lewiston Maineiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 2003-11.
Penguins 4, Portland 2
Scoring-1, W-B/Scranton, Harrington 3 (Thompson, Samuelsson), 1:07 (PP). 2, Portland, McMillan 5 (Gormley, Murphy), 12:28. Penalties-Brown Por (holding), 0:49; Thompson Wbs (unsportsmanlike conduct), 3:11; Murphy Por (unsportsmanlike conduct), 3:11; Zolnierczyk Wbs (holding), 5:26; Despres Wbs (boarding), 5:45; Drazenovic Wbs (interference), 17:31.
Scoring-3, W-B/Scranton, Despres 4 (Samuelsson, Rowney), 8:46. 4, W-B/Scranton, Samuelsson 3 (McNeill, Manderson), 17:35. Penalties-Farnham Wbs (roughing), 3:15; Dziurzynski Por (unsportsmanlike conduct), 3:15; Farnham Wbs (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:28; Yip Por (goaltender interference), 14:54.
Scoring-5, W-B/Scranton, Despres 5 (Samuelsson, Drazenovic), 4:20. 6, Portland, Gormley 2 (Brisebois, Rieder), 9:32 (PP). Penalties-Lessio Por (hooking), 5:49; Mikkelson Wbs (interference), 9:13; Harrington Wbs (double minor - high-sticking), 16:40.
Shots on Goal
Power Play Opportunities
W-B/Scranton 1 / 3.
Portland 1 / 7.
W-B/Scranton, Hartzell 5-2-1 (29 shots-27 saves).
Portland, Visentin 9-12-3 (23 shots-19 saves).
Referee-Jon McIsaac (45).
Linesmen-Joe Andrews (32), Landon Bathe (80).