Hutchinson looms large as IceCaps take Game 2

Last updated: May 25. 2014 11:29PM - 2821 Views
By Robin Short Special to the Times Leader

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ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland – Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goaltender Peter Mannino was the star of the night in Game 1 of the series, but Sunday night belonged to the goalie at the other end of the rink as the homestanding St. John's IceCaps evened their American Hockey League Eastern Conference final at 1-1.
Former Providence Bruins netminder Michael Hutchinson stopped 34 of 35 shots as the IceCaps skated away with a 2-1 victory as the Calder Cup playoff series switches to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for Games 3, 4 and 5 Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights.
If the sixth and seventh games are required, they will be played June 3 and June 4 in St. John's.
Hutchinson, who started the year with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL and finished the season winning two of three games with the NHL's Winnipeg Jets, withstood a furious finish to draw the IceCaps even.
“All season long,” said St. John's coach Keith McCambridge, “he's given us exactly what we need, and that's to keep the puck out of our net.”
Saturday night, it was Mannino who enjoyed the spotlight, stopping 31 of 33 shots as the Penguins registered a 3-2 victory in Game 1.
Mannino wasn't bad Sunday, turning aside 27 St. John's shots, though he was prone to coughing up some big rebounds.
“Give St. John's credit,” said Penguins coach John Hynes. “They played a good game, and we had some opportunities late but we didn't find a way to put the puck in the back of the net.
“Credit to them. I thought they defended real well as a team.”
The only blemish on Hutchinson's game was the Penguins' lone goal by Anton Zlobin with 1:04 left in regulation time.
That came on a six-on-four man advantage as Josh Morrissey was off for kneeing, and Mannino pulled for the extra attacker.
It set off a furious, high drama finish as the Pens threw anything and everything at the St. John's goal.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton outshot St. John's 14-7 in the third, and 35-29 overall.
Kyle MacKinnon, in the first period, and Carl Klingberg, with the game-winner in the second, scored for the IceCaps.
With MacKinnon scoring, it marked the 10th time in 12 playoff games the IceCaps have scored first. Klingberg got the game-winner 6:24 into the second, redirecting a Will O'Neill shot from the point.
The Penguins played without veteran Chuck Kobasew due to injury. Kobasew is their leading scorer in the playoffs with six goals and six assists through 12 games, not to mention a team-high 26 penalty minutes.
Of course, this being the playoffs and all, Hynes would only say Kobasew's status is, “day-to-day.
“He's a big part of the team … he brings leadership and is very good player for us,” Hynes said of the 32-year-old forward, with 645 career NHL games punched in.
“What he brings to our room is leadership. Guys look up to him. But more importantly, I suppose, is he's a real good player.”

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