PORTLAND — The Portland Pirates had an off night, but they still found a way to win.
Swedish defenseman David Rundblad scored his fifth goal in less than three weeks 3:14 into overtime to lift the Pirates to a 2-1 win against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Tuesday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
“I don’t think either coach was probably enamored with the game, but you have games like that,” Portland Coach Ray Edwards said. “It was kind of an ugly game, and you have to find a way to manage those games.”
The Sound Tigers, who just snapped an eight-game losing streak Sunday afternoon with a 7-2 win against the Syracuse Crunch, held a 16-11 edge in shots during the scoreless first two periods.
“(The game) may not be going the way you want, and you may not be playing the way you want, but you’re still in the game so you’ve got to find a way to get that game into a situation where you’re getting points, which we did,” Edwards said. “We squeaked it out.”
Rundblad, who has two winning goals since scoring his first goal of the season on Nov. 24, ended the game in dramatic fashion by putting in a wrist shot from the top of the slot through a screen set by rookie Chris Brown while the Pirates were on their fifth power play of the game.
“Brownie did a great job in front of the net,” Rundblad said. “(The goalie) didn’t see anything so I just tried to aim and find an open spot.”
Veteran goalie Chad Johnson, back after missing two games because of a lower-body injury, made 28 saves to run his record to 8-5-0-2.
“He’s been great for us, and he’s a great guy to have in the locker room, too,” Rundblad said. “He’s just been a lot of help for us. We’re a young team, and he’s one of the older guys. He just keeps everything together and he plays good when we need him to play good.”
Portland’s Alexandre Bolduc scored his team-high 13th goal on a power play five minutes into the third period to snap a scoreless tie.
Nino Niederetter, the Sound Tigers’ leading scorer, made it 1-1 when he put in a rebound for his 12th goal less than three minutes later on one of Bridgeport’s six power plays.
“Neither team really gave up many chances, other than on the power play, which is the area for me we’ve really got to address,” Edwards said. “We’re just taking too many penalties. We’re leading the league in minor penalties, and it’s got to stop.”
NOTES: The Phoenix Coyotes sent rookie goalie Mike Lee back to the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators. Last Saturday night, Lee stopped 28 of 29 shots and made four saves during a shootout in relief of rookie goaltender Mark Visentin in a 4-3 win against Wilkes-Barre
The Pirates’ last four wins have all come in extra time Portland defensemen Mathieu Brodeur and Michael Stone were healthy scratches.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: email@example.com