Thursday, April 24, 2014
LOWELL, Mass.—Less than 24 hours after recording their first win of the season, the Portland Pirates didn't look like the same team Sunday afternoon.
With former Portland goalie Mike McKenna making 38 saves, the Lowell Devils extended the Pirates' road woes by rolling to a 4-0 victory at Tsongas Arena.
''We didn't play with a lot of jump tonight,'' Portland Coach Kevin Dineen said. ''We didn't respond as well to success as we did to adversity.''
After opening the season with 5-2 losses at Springfield and Albany, the Pirates turned in a solid effort during a 4-2 win against Providence in their first home game Saturday night.
Dineen took responsibility for the Pirates' performance on Sunday.
''It was not a good game,'' Dineen said. ''We didn't have a good game plan. (Lowell) scored a couple goals off the rush, and there wasn't anything we didn't see in their preseason game against us.
''They're a very simple hockey team and I felt I didn't prepare (my team) well, so a lot of it was on me.''
After an evenly played first period, the Pirates didn't generate many offensive chances until late in the third period.
''I played with a lot of confidence,'' said McKenna, making his first start of the season. ''I made a couple of saves early and then we really clamped down in the second period and they had only one or two really good chances.''
McKenna, who played 47 games with the Pirates in the 2007-08 season, played 15 NHL games with Tampa Bay last season.
Nathan Perkovich, a rookie right wing, opened the scoring 11:45 into the game with his first goal of the season during a scrum in front of the Portland goal.
Perkovich and linemates Ben Walter and Vladimir Zharkov took turns kicking the puck and whacking at it with their sticks before it squirted past goalie Jhonas Enroth.
The Devils, who lost their first two games of the season, put the Pirates away when Brad Snetzinger, Zharkov and Tim Sestito scored second-period goals.
With less than 10 minutes left in the second period and his team leading 3-0, McKenna ranged out of the hash marks to stop a breakaway bid by rookie Paul Byron.
J.P. Lamoreau, an AHL rookie in his first appearance for Portland, stopped all 18 shots after taking over for Enroth midway through the second period.
NOTES: Portland captain Brad Larsen and veteran center Cody McCormick, out for his second consecutive game, didn't make the trip to Lowell. The Pirates play five of their next six games on the road. Matt Generous, a rookie defenseman out since the start of the season with a calf injury, was on the ice for the pregame skate.
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Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: