PORTLAND — Portland Pirates Coach Kevin Dineen can always tell when goalie David Leggio makes a save during a shootout.

“I don’t watch the other team shoot,” he said. “I watch our guys shoot. I don’t know why, but I turn around and look the other way.

“I didn’t see one of his saves, but I heard lots of cheers and that’s a good thing.”

Leggio stopped all four shooters Saturday night to help the Pirates to a 2-1 victory against the Worcester Sharks before a crowd of 4,505 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

It was the fourth shootout win of the season for Leggio, who has stopped 20 of 23 shots during shootouts.

“It’s something I’ve worked on quite a bit, but I don’t know why it’s going so well,” Leggio said.

“Tonight, I got a little bit of goal support and that helps so much. It takes some of the weight off your shoulders.”

Rookie forwards Luke Adam and Corey Tropp, Portland’s first two shooters during the shootout, each scored.

The Pirates, coming off their longest break of the season, got off to a slow start.

“We got outplayed in our own building for the first period,” Dineen said. “Overall, I think it was a good learning experience, how to play in a hard-fought, playoff atmosphere-type game.”

The Pirates took just two shots during the first 20 minutes, but they did mount effective penalty killing, limiting Worcester to two shots while killing off two penalties. The Sharks began the game with the AHL’s top-rated power play.

Less than six minutes into the second period, rookie defenseman Alex Biega’s shot from the top of the left circle went in off goalie Carter Hutton’s stick about a minute into the Pirates’ first power play of the game.

“I just kind of put my head down and wired the thing,” he said. “I didn’t hear anything until two seconds after I shot the puck. I didn’t see it go in.”

Worcester defenseman Sean Sullivan scored the tying goal from the slot with less than seven minutes left in the third.

“We play these guys 12 times, so we definitely have to make a statement early on,” Biega said. “It was like a playoff game out there, a hard-fought battle every shift.”

NOTES: The Pirates signed goalie Dov Grumet-Morris following Jhonas Enroth’s recall by the Buffalo Sabres. A 2005 Harvard graduate, Grumet-Morris played 11 games for the Pirates during the 2006-07 season. … Matt Ellis returned to the Portland lineup after playing six games with the Buffalo.

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

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