BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – The Portland Pirates kept their hockey season going Tuesday night.

Led by forward Mark Mancari and goalie Jhonas Enroth, the Pirates staved off elimination from their Calder Cup playoff series against the Binghamton Senators with a 6-2 win before a crowd of 3,152 at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.

The Senators hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series that resumes Friday night with Game 6 at the Cumberland County Civic Center. If necessary, Game 7 will be played Saturday night at the Civic Center.

The victory came 24 hours after Binghamton skated to a 6-1 victory in Game 4.

“You look at the video from (Monday) night and we got outplayed in a lot of different areas,” Portland Coach Kevin Dineen said. “Tonight we just cleaned up the little things that make a difference in a playoff series. Little things turn into big things.”

The biggest improvement came in special-team play.

The Pirates ended an 0-of-10 drought by scoring on their first two power plays. They also killed off all five of Binghamton’s power plays and scored their first short-handed goal of the postseason.

“Special teams win games,” said Mancari, who had two goals and two assists. “When you have a power play, you’re not going to have a better opportunity to score goals. We really took pride in it tonight. We really worked hard on getting pucks to the net.”

Enroth, who rejoined the Pirates a week ago after spending nearly seven weeks with the parent Buffalo Sabres, made 35 saves to notch his first win in his second start of the playoffs.

“Jhonas is a guy who, in my opinion, is going to have a long NHL career, and tonight he showed why,” Dineen said.

The Pirates took a 4-0 lead in the first period.

Less than five minutes into the game, Colin Stuart scored his third goal of the playoffs on a shot from the left hashmark after Mancari circled around the back of the net, drawing three defenders before sending the puck out.

A little more than a minute later, Luke Adam finished off another power play by powering the rebound of his own shot into the right side of the net for his fourth playoff goal.

During an extended penalty kill, including a 1:09 segment when Binghamton skated with a two-man advantage, Mancari scored on a breakaway with less than eight minutes left.

With less than six minutes left, Mark Parrish poked a rebound into the right side for his third playoff goal.

Less than three minutes into the second period, Mark Voakes made it 5-0 by poking in a rebound into the right side for his third playoff goal after Derek Whitmore took a puck from a defender and tried to jam it in.

Portland needed the cushion. The Senators, who had won six of their seven previous playoff games, tried to get back into the game.

Less than four minutes into the second period, Jim O’Brien lifted the puck past Enroth for his first goal of the playoffs.

With less than seven minutes left in the second period, Mancari made it 6-1 when he scored his team-high sixth goal during a delayed penalty.

Binghamton rookie Bobby Butler then scored his seventh playoff goal with 4:30 left in the second period to complete the scoring.

“We wanted a level of composure and stability throughout the game,” Dineen said. “We feel we are in a really competitive series playing an extremely good hockey team, and we need to respond in kind. I think my guys made a statement that they are far from letting this thing end.”

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]