PORTLAND – After spending the last 11 days in the NHL, goalie Jhonas Enroth made a triumphant return to the Portland Pirates’ lineup Saturday night.
Enroth made 22 saves to lead the Pirates to a 5-2 victory against the Albany Devils in a game played before a crowd of 6,003 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
“A lot of action has happened in the last week for him, and I like the way he came back and really fortified us in net,” Portland Coach Kevin Dineen said.
During his brief stay with the parent Buffalo Sabres, Enroth went 2-1-1 in his four starts.
“It’s one thing to go up there and get games, but to get wins is great way to come back knowing he can go up there and win hockey games when called upon,” Dineen said.
With Saturday night’s win, Portland, which has earned points in eight of its last nine games, extended its lead to eight points over second-place Springfield in the American Hockey League’s Atlantic Division.
While Enroth made a successful return to the AHL, 12 Pirates ended up with goals or assists.
“We have a real balanced lineup,” said center Travis Turnbull, a second-year pro who scored the winning goal for the Pirates. “From the first line to the fourth line, everyone’s been contributing.
“That’s what you need to do to win games every night.”
The Pirates held a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period.
Less than four minutes into the game, Matt Anderson, Albany’s leading scorer, jammed in a rebound for his sixth goal of the season.
Eight minutes later, Dennis McCauley finished off a two-on-one break with rookie right wing Jacob Lagace by lifting his fourth goal into the left side to tie the score.
With less than five minutes remaining in the period, Paul Byron slid in a rebound from the right circle for his fourth goal during the Pirates’ second power play.
During the opening minutes of the second period, Turnbull made it 3-1 when he wheeled into the left circle and placed a right-handed shot inside the far post for his fourth goal.
Less than five minutes into the third period, Portland extended its advantage to 4-1 when veteran forward Mark Parrish swept a rebound into the left side for his fifth goal on another power play.
With 10 minutes left, Nathan Perkovich made it 4-2 when he scored his fourth goal of the season on a shot from the right circle after David McIntyre backhanded a pass across the slot to him.
With less than seven minutes left, defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani completed the scoring by putting in a shot from the right circle for his fourth goal while the Pirates skated with a two-man advantage.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: