Wolf Pack goaltender David LeNeveu had his shutout streak ended Saturday night at the XL Center against the Providence Bruins, but LeNeveu made 26 saves in regulation and overtime, and stopped five out of six in the shootout, as the Wolf Pack pulled out a 2-1 win.
“Every point is important right now, tonight we just had to bear down and make sure we got two instead of one,” LeNeveu said. “It’s not about the streak or personal stats, it’s not about anything except for team points right now. I’m just trying to go out there and make the next save and the next save after that.”
The victory was the first for the Wolf Pack in six games against the Bruins on the year, and improved the Pack’s season record to 32-31-1-6 for 71 points, marking the first time Hartford has been over .500 since November 27.
Ryan Bourque scored the shootout winner Saturday and T.J. Hensick also scored in the shootout, and J.T. Miller had the only Wolf Pack goal in regulation. Alexander Khokhlachev scored for Providence, and Malcolm Subban made 24 saves and went four-for-six in the shootout.
LeNeveu, who brought a franchise-record streak of three straight shutouts into the game, had a scoreless run snapped at 200:31 at 14:37 of the first period, when Khokhlachev scored his seventh goal in six games against the Wolf Pack.
Zach Trotman grabbed off a Wolf Pack dump-in in his own zone and sent Khokhlachev off on a break through center. Khokhlachev carried down left wing in the Hartford zone and fired a shot that went off of LeNeveu and found its way into the net.
The Wolf Pack tied the score only 1:12 into the second period, on a goal by Miller that turned out to be the only scoring of the second.
Tommy Hughes fed the puck from the blue line to Miller on the right-wing boards, and Miller’s one-timer beat Subban, whose view was obscured by the Wolf Pack’s Micheal Haley and Bruin defenseman Mike Moore, who were battling for position in front.
The rest of regulation was scoreless, and both teams had a power play in overtime but neither was able to convert. In the shootout, the Wolf Pack were down to their last chance, after Subban had stopped Danny Kristo, Miller, Jesper Fast and Marek Hrivik in succession, and Seth Griffith had beaten LeNeveu on the Bruins’ third shot.
Hensick kept the Wolf Pack alive, though, scoring in the fifth round, and Bourque converted on the Pack’s sixth shot. LeNeveu then denied Craig Cunningham on Providence’s sixth attempt to secure the win.
The Wolf Pack are back in home ice action Sunday, as the Norfolk Admirals visit the XL Center for a 5:00 PM game. This is the last chance for fans to take advantage of the Wolf Pack’s “Click It or Ticket Sunday Family Value Packs”. Those include two tickets, two hot dogs and two sodas, starting at only $35.
Tickets for all Wolf Pack 2013-14 home games are on sale now at the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, on-line at www.hartfordwolfpack.com and by phone at (877) 522-8499. Wolf Pack tickets start as low as $12 for youth 12 years old or younger. To speak with a representative about season or group tickets, call (855) 762-6451.
Providence Bruins 1 at Hartford Wolf Pack 2 (SO)
Saturday, April 5, 2014 - XL Center
Providence 1 0 0 0 - 1
Hartford 0 1 0 0 - 2
1st Period-1, Providence, Khokhlachev 21 (Trotman), 14:37. Penalties-Robins Pro (fighting), 3:32; McIlrath Hfd (fighting), 3:32; Khokhlachev Pro (tripping), 5:02; Bourque Hfd (interference), 10:05; McIlrath Hfd (tripping), 17:36; Cunningham Pro (interference), 18:56.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Miller 13 (Hughes, Johnson), 1:12. Penalties-Fraser Pro (goaltender interference), 7:55; McIlrath Hfd (roughing), 12:36.
3rd Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Cunningham Pro (high-sticking), 4:02; Bourque Hfd (slashing), 5:11.
OT Period- No Scoring. Penalties-Miller Hfd (hooking), 0:30; Moore Pro (tripping), 3:49.
Shootout - Providence 1 (Knight NG, Spooner NG, Griffith G, Khokhlachev NG, Johnson NG, Cunningham NG), Hartford 2 (Kristo NG, Miller NG, Fast NG, Hrivik NG, Hensick G, Bourque G).
Shots on Goal-Providence 9-6-10-2-0-27. Hartford 9-4-10-2-1-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 0 / 5; Hartford 0 / 5.
Goalies-Providence, Subban 14-8-5 (25 shots-24 saves). Hartford, LeNeveu 8-8-0 (27 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Geoff Miller (28), Chris Ciamaga (24).
Linesmen-Glen Cooke (6), Luke Galvin (2).