Goalie Mike McKenna put the Portland Pirates in position to win Saturday night, and Jordan Szwarz, who returned to the lineup on New Year’s Eve after a six-week absence, made sure the team took advantage.

Szwarz, who was sidelined by a knee injury, was the only player from either team to put the puck in the net as the Pirates eked out a 1-0 shootout win over the Providence Bruins before a crowd of 3,591 at the Cross Insurance Arena.

Szwarz, Portland’s second shooter, rifled the puck in between the pads of Providence goalie Jeremy Smith after the teams played to a scoreless tie through regulation and a seven-minute overtime period.

McKenna, making his 11th consecutive start, made 34 saves to help propel the Pirates to their fourth straight win. Six of his saves came during the first 21/2 minutes of overtime.

McKenna also stopped two of Providence’s three shots during the shootout. The other glanced off a post.

“(McKenna) has been standing on his head for us for the past few weeks,” Szwarz said. “He’s been sensational and has been giving us a chance to win.”

It was not the Pirates’ best performance of the season.

“We looked tired tonight.” Portland Coach Ray Edwards said. “It wasn’t through lack of effort. We just didn’t have another gear, but we managed the game and that was what I liked. We could have very easily got frustrated.”

Portland played against a Providence team that was missing some top players.

“(Providence) had a lot of youth in their lineup,” Szwarz said. “When you get a team like that, they’re going to work really hard. It was an off-night for us. Things were really clicking. Frustration starts to set in because you can’t do what you want to, but good teams find a way to win games like that, and we did that.”

Play was even during the first period.

Less than seven minutes in, the Pirates’ Lucas Lessio just missed with a backhander while fighting off a defender during a breakaway.

Portland, which came into the game with the league’s fifth-best penalty kill, held the Bruins to just one shot during each of their two power plays in the period.

With about five minutes left, Smith had to scramble to keep the puck out during a three-shot flurry by the Pirates.

With about 25 seconds left, McKenna stopped Spencer Asuchuk on a breakaway with the Pirates on a power play.

McKenna was a little busier in the second, when the Bruins held a 13-5 edge in shots.

With less than three minutes left, McKenna was called for delay of game after the goal came off one of its stanchions, but the Pirates allowed just one shot during the resulting power play.

Both teams had golden scoring opportunities in the third period.

Two minutes in, Smith stopped rookie Tyler Gaudet’s backhander from the low slot.

About a minute later, during the fifth of Providence’s six power plays, McKenna slid across the crease to rob Rob Flick after Chris Breen sent a pass from the left side of the net.

With less than six minutes left, Portland skated with a two-man advantage for more than a minute but was unable to sustain any offensive pressure.