ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland – Carl Klingberg slammed a rebound past the blocker of Portland goalie Chad Johnson two minutes into the third period for what proved to be the decisive goal in the IceCaps’ 4-3 victory Wednesday night as the home team swept a two-game series against the Pirates.
David Rundbland’s power-play goal brought Portland to within one with 2:38 left to play. But that was as close as the Pirates got, suffering their third consecutive loss while falling to 38-28-3-2 on the season.
Portland’s magic number to clinch a Calder Cup playoff spot remains seven points. With the Portland loss, the Providence Bruins clinched the Atlantic Division title.
Portland, trailing 2-0, tied the score within a four-minute span of the second period. Phil Lane picked up the puck near the right boards and whipped a hard pass in front that was redirected past St. John’s goalie Mark Dekanich by Darian Dziurzynski 4:36 into the period. Jordan Martinook got the equalizer, bursting in on a two-on-one and beating Dekanich between the pads with just one second left on a power play.
The IceCaps responded as the teams skated four aside and Jason Jaffray fired in a one-timer from the slot with five minutes left in the period. The Pirates apparently tied the game but Andy Miele’s goal was waved off because of a crease violation by Evan Brophey, and Portland remained trailing 3-2 after two periods.
St. John’s opened the scoring at 14:14 of the first period on a power-play goal by Kael Mouillierat with Portland’s Brett Hextall in the box.
The IceCaps went up 2-0 just 2:01 into the second on Vinny Saponari’s first pro goal. Dekanich made 28 saves for the victory while Johnson countered with 27 in his first AHL start since a 3-2 loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on March 16.
NOTES: Last Thursday during the midst of a three-week stay with Phoenix, Johnson stopped 36 shots in a 4-2 win over Detroit in his only start during a lengthy call-up while Coyotes starter Mike Smith recovered from an upper-body injury.
Earlier Wednesday, the Pirates added veteran left wing Troy Bodie to their roster.
Bodie, a veteran of 107 NHL games, is on loan from the Norfolk Admirals, where he scored four goals and had eight assists in 47 games.
The 6-3, 215-pound Bodie will join the AHL team Thursday when it returns from its trip to Newfoundland.