WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Milestone efforts by rookies Mike Lee and Jordan Martinook helped bring the Portland Pirates back from a three-goal deficit Saturday night.
Lee came off the bench to stop 29 of 30 shots in regulation and overtime, then all four shootout attempts to lift the Pirates to a 4-3 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
The first goal of Martinook’s professional career cut the Pirates’ deficit to one in the third period.
“What I liked about our team was the way we just kept fighting,” Pirates Coach Ray Edwards said.
The Pirates had to face the American Hockey League’s two hottest teams in the league back-to-back.
After absorbing a 6-1 beating Friday night in Binghamton — the ninth straight win by the Senators — they headed to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, which has not lost in regulation in the last seven games.
There was a carryover from Friday night for at least one Pirate.
After giving up six goals and making a series of blunders against Binghamton, goalie Mark Visentin gave up two goals on five shots in the first 6:10 against the Penguins.
Visentin was replaced by Lee, who was brought up from the Gwinnett Gladiators of the ECHL while No. 1 goalie Chad Johnson is out with a lower body injury.
“You just have got to be ready in case,” said Lee, who joined the team Tuesday. “That’s what I prepared for all week.”
Chris Brown scored on a shot from the top of the slot to begin the comeback at 12:12 of the second period.
Martinook, a 20-year-old rookie who was picked in the second round of the NHL draft earlier this year, scored in his 19th AHL game.
Chris Conner pressured Wilkes- Barre/Scranton Dylan Reese into a turnover in the corner. The puck came to Martinook, who had time to wind up in the slot.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who had an assist on the first goal, tied the game on the power play at 8:30 of the third.
The Pirates killed a four-minute penalty midway through the third period and two more penalties in overtime. They stopped all seven Wilkes-Barre/Scranton power plays.
The Penguins went first in the shootout, but Lee, in his first shootout as a pro, turned them away four times.
“He was really calm,” Edwards said. “I was really impressed with his composure in the shootout.”
Rob Klinkhammer scored on the second Portland attempt. Conner, who was robbed of a potential winning goal by Brad Thiessen with 1:55 left in regulation, clinched the win by beating his former teammate on the fourth attempt.