Malcolm, Pack Blank Falcons for Home and Home SweepMar 20, 2016
(Photo courtesy of Springfield Falcons)
Jeff Malcolm made 25 saves for his second shutout of the season Sunday at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA, as the Wolf Pack defeated the Springfield Falcons 3-0, for a sweep of a home-and-home series.
The Wolf Pack had downed Springfield Saturday night at the XL Center, 4-3 in a shootout.
Sunday’s victory was Hartford’s sixth straight, and kept the Wolf Pack within one percentage point of the Portland Pirates for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Wolf Pack is 35-27-2-0 for a .562 points percentage, and the Pirates are 32-24-5-2 for a mark of .563.
The eighth-place Falcons fell to 23-32-3-5 (54 pts., .429).
Nicklas Jensen had a goal and an assist for Hartford Sunday, and Marek Hrivik and Calle Andersson also scored. Niklas Treutle made 24 saves in the Springfield net.
“I thought it was a good character win,” said Wolf Pack defenseman Chris Summers. “As a team, that’s a game, in our minds, that we should win, and obviously need to win. A good road game, sticking up for each other. When things get a little messy out there, it’s good to see guys react that way and respond with points on the board.”
The Wolf Pack outshot the Falcons 13-3 in the opening period, and got the only goal of the frame at 9:20, on Hrivik’s ninth of the season.
Raphael Diaz stopped a Falcon pass just inside the Wolf Pack zone, and moved the puck up right wing to Jensen. He fed to the middle in the Springfield end, and Hrivik’s 30-foot shot went over Treutle’s stick-side shoulder.
The second period was scoreless, with Springfield holding an 8-7 shots edge, and the Wolf Pack put the game away with two goals in the third.
Just 11 seconds into the final period, four seconds after a Wolf Pack power play ended, Andersson scored his fourth goal of the season. Jayson Megna worked the puck off of the right-wing boards in the Springfield end to Andersson cutting in, and he unloaded a shot that fluttered and seemed to fool Treutle.
Springfield’s comeback hopes were all but eliminated when Laurent Dauphin was hit with a charging major at 14:33, for a high hit that knocked Andersson from the game. That put the Wolf Pack on a man advantage for five minutes of the 5:27 that remained, and Jensen put the game out of reach with a power-play tally at 17:51.
A shot by Chris Brown from the left-wing side hit Jensen in front, and he was able to collect the rebound and backhand it towards the net. The puck hit the skate of a Springfield defender and deflected up in the air, and it came down just over the goal line behind Treutle.
The Wolf Pack’s next home action is on home ice this Wednesday, March 23, as the Providence Bruins visit the XL Center for a 7:00 game. That is the last “Winning Wednesday” of the season. If the Wolf Pack win, fans can show their Winning Wednesday ticket at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center and receive a free ticket to the next Wolf Pack home game, which is this Friday, March 25 vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (some restrictions apply).
Tickets for all remaining 2015-16 Wolf Pack home games are on sale at the Agera Energy Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499.
To speak with a Wolf Pack representative about season or group tickets, or any of the Wolf Pack’s many ticketing options, call (855) 762-6451, or click here to request more info.
Hartford Wolf Pack 3 at Springfield Falcons 0
Sunday, March 20, 2016 - MassMutual Center
Hartford 1 0 2 - 3
Springfield 0 0 0 - 0
1st Period-1, Hartford, Hrivik 9 (Jensen, Diaz), 9:20. Penalties-Shinnimin Spr (high-sticking), 3:59; Gibbons Hfd (interference), 19:55.
2nd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Graves Hfd (interference), 12:05; Smith Spr (interference), 12:05.
3rd Period-2, Hartford, Andersson 4 (Megna, Bodie), 0:11. 3, Hartford, Jensen 16 (C. Brown, Summers), 17:51 (PP). Penalties-Dauphin Spr (cross-checking), 7:14; Skjei Hfd (interference), 7:57; Nehring Hfd (roughing), 14:33; Dauphin Spr (major - charging, game misconduct - charging), 14:33; Szwarz Spr (roughing), 14:33.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 13-7-7-27. Springfield 3-8-14-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 4; Springfield 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, Malcolm 7-5-0 (25 shots-25 saves). Springfield, Treutle 11-15-3 (27 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Michael Mullen (18), Ben Moser (3).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Kevin Redding (16).