Lock Monsters shutdown Portland by Alex Pufhal The Lowell Lock Monsters visited the Portland Pirates tonight in an Atlantic Division battle. Portland came out flying and played well the entire night but they ran to a goaltender who doubled as a brick wall for the 2nd straight night. Portland has now gone over 132 minutes without getting a goal. Friday night Jean-Sebastien Gigure made 39 saves for Saint John and Marcel Cousineau made 35 tonight. The shutout was the 2nd of the season for Cousineau who is now the AHL leader in Wins (6) and Shutouts (2). The first period was uneventful as far as scoring goes but had it fair share of exciting moments. The Lock Monsters had a two-man disadvantage following a Chebaturkin penalty and a Cousineau penalty for delay of game after he missed the glass on a clearing attempt. Lowell's Zdeno Chara absolutely leveled Portland's JP Dumont on a clean hit but was still called for boarding. But, then again the Referee was Benard Degrace which means that he won't call much of anything unless the mood strikes him. He missed a number of calls on both teams, Portland catching more of the breaks. Warren Luhing scored his fourth goal of the year at 15:18 of the 2nd on a beautiful pass from Dimitri Nabokov. Vladimir Orszagh took a pass from Marcel Cousineau and blew through the Pirates defense, skated the length of the ice and beat Sebastien Charpentier high to close out the scoring. Portland was 0-for-8 on the power play, Lowell was 0-for-4. A crowd of supposedly 3,011 witnessed the game, apparently they are counting the players benches in the totals. Stars of the game according to Portland media: 1. Cousineau 2. Luhning 3. Orszagh I would agree with that while giving Chara a mention for his solid defensive play. Mike Peluso and Benoit Gratton played well for Portland. The two teams meet again in Lowell on Novemeber 8. The Lock Monsters travel to New Haven to play the Beast on Sunday night. ----------------------------- Lowell 0 1 1--2 Portland 0 0 0--0 ----------------------------- FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: None. Penalties: Chebaturkin, Low (interference), 7:28; Cousineau, Low (Delay of game), 8:56; Rohloff, Por (Obstr holding), 12:30; Jackson, Low (cross checking), 15:46; Z Chara, Low (boarding), 18:25. SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Lowell, Luhning 4 (Nabakov), 15:18. Penalties: Chebaturkin, Low (high sticking), 6:54; Webb, Low (fighting major), 11:30; Nasreddine, Por (fighting major), 11:30; Malkoc, Low (Obstr holding), 17:36. THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: 2, Lowell, Orszagh 3 (Cousineau), 18:13. Penalties: Chervyakov, Por (holding), 1:45; Jackson, Low (unsportsmanlike conduct), 5:51; Portland bench, served by Hulst (too many men on the ice), 7:14; Haggerty, Low (high sticking), 8:39; Schultz, Low (slashing), 13:24; Hankinson, Por (roughing), 13:24; Gratton, Por (slashing), 19:23. Shots on goal: --------------------------------- Lowell 9 8 5--22 Portland 11 11 13--35 --------------------------------- Power-play Conversions: Low - 0 of 4, Por - 0 of 8. Goalies: Lowell, Cousineau (35 shots, 35 saves; record: 6-1-1). Portland, Charpentier (22, 20; record: 0-3-0). A: 3,011. Referee: Degrace. Linesmen: Demers, Andrews. INDIVIDUAL PLAYER STATISTICS Lowell Portland G A +/- Shots G A +/- Shots C Charron 0 0 +1 1 Boileau 0 0 -1 2 Chebaturkin 0 0 +1 1 Charpentier 0 0 -- 0 Cousineau 0 1 -- 0 Chervyakov 0 0 even 4 Giroux 0 0 +1 1 Dumont 0 0 -1 3 Haggerty 0 0 even 2 Gratton 0 0 -1 3 Huska 0 0 even 1 Halverson 0 0 even 1 Jackson 0 0 +1 2 Hamilton 0 0 even 2 Kennedy 0 0 +1 0 Hankinson 0 0 -1 2 Luhning 1 0 +1 5 Hulst 0 0 even 4 Malkoc 0 0 +1 0 Malgunas 0 0 -1 1 Nabakov 0 1 +1 3 Mrozik 0 0 -1 1 Namestnikov 0 0 even 1 Nasreddine 0 0 -1 1 Orszagh 1 0 +1 1 Peluso 0 0 -1 4 Schultz 0 0 +1 1 Poapst 0 0 -1 2 Stewart 0 0 even 0 Rohloff 0 0 even 0 Wallace 0 0 even 1 Tardif 0 0 -1 2 Webb 0 0 even 0 Toms 0 0 even 1 Z Chara 0 0 even 2 Volchkov 0 0 even 2
Cousineau & Co. manage to stave off Pirates, 2-0
Dmitri Nabokov and Warren Luhning combined on a gorgeous goal at 15:18 of the second period, Vladimir Orszagh scored off a breakaway at 18:13 of the third period and Lowell's penalty killers killed all eight power plays by the Portland Pirates in a 2-0 victory before 3,011 fans at the Cumberland County Civic Center last night.
"Cousineau was sharp," said Lowell coach Frank Anzalone, "but the key is he didn't have to face a lot of second and third shots. They were mostly shots from the perimeter. We played a pretty fundamental positional game. But when the other team has eight power plays, you're going to face 30-something shots."
Portland, a Black Hawks/Capitals affiliate coached by former ULowell star Mark Kumpel, fell to 1-8-0, including 0-5-0 at home. They were shut out 3-0 Friday night on a 39-save effort by Saint John Flames goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere and are 0 for their last 23 power plays.
Last night's game was scoreless until Luhning, a former University of Michigan star who scored only 6 goals in 51 AHL games with Kentucky last season, scored his 4th of this season last night to give Lowell a 1-0 lead at 15:18 of the second period.
Luhning finished off a fabulous play by Nabokov, a center with NHL-caliber skill who outhustled a Pirate to a loose puck at center ice, then calmly cruised up the right side awaiting Luhning to create a 2-on-1.
"Actually he didn't beat the guy initially, but held him off with his upper-body strength," said Anzalone. "That's the next-level talent he has."
Nabokov finally feathered the puck across to Luhning coming down the chute, and Luhning snapped it past Portland goalie Sebastien Charpentier.
"Shot it to the far corner," praised Anzalone. "A real goal-scorer's goal."
Outshot 35-22 last night, Lowell (6-3-0) could finally breathe easy only after Orszagh muscled through two confused point men and scored on a breakaway at 18:13 of the third period.
Cousineau stopped 22 shots over the first two periods, during which time the Lock Monsters killed off six Portland power plays while getting only one for themselves.
One of Portland's better scoring chances, by Benoit Gratton, occurred while Lowell's Steve Webb and Portland's Alain Nasreddine were fighting at center ice. The officials waited for Gratton to fire wide of the net, then linesmen Joe Andrews and Marty Demers sped off to pull apart Webb and Nasreddine, who each received fighting majors at 11:30.
Cousineau stopped 11 shots in the first period, when Lowell killed three penalties and most of a fourth, including two-man-down stints of 26 and 21 seconds. The first of the two-man disadvantages was created by a delay-of-game penalty against Cousineau for flipping the puck into the stands at 8:06. He bailed himself out with three tough saves during an ensuing flurry by the desperate Pirates.
Portland Press Hearld:
Dazed. Confused. Stumped. Frustrated.
Pick a word, any of those words, and you have the Portland Pirates' state of mind these days.
They closed out a less-than-memorable October the same way they began it, by losing to the Lowell Lock Monsters.
For the second consecutive game, the Pirates had a big advantage in shots. For the second consecutive game, they were shut out.
Marcel Cousineau turned back 35 shots as the Lock Monsters beat the Pirates 2-0 Saturday before a Halloween night crowd of 3,011 - the second smallest in franchise history - at the Cumberland County Civic Center.
It marked the first time the Pirates had been shut out in consecutive games. Friday, they lost to the Saint John Flames 3-0, also at home.
The loss was Portland's fourth in a row, dropping the Pirates to an AHL-worst 1-8, including an 0-5 mark at home. Lowell, which has beaten the Pirates three times already this season, improved to 6-3-1.
You want answers? The Pirates, who outshot Lowell 35-22, don't have any.
''We're just not getting it done,'' said captain Kent Hulst. When asked to elaborate, all he could say was, ''Things just aren't going in.''
The power play was once again ineffective, going 0 for 8 to extend the string to 0 for 23, 2 for 29 at home.
Pirates Coach Mark Kumpel was clearly frustrated after the game. He made lineup changes after Friday's shutout loss, replacing tough guys Mark Major and Carlin Nordstrom with skill players Jean-Pierre Dumont and Mike Peluso. Major had an injured hand and probably wouldn't have played anyway.
''And we still didn't score,'' Kumpel said. ''We can't score a goal at home two nights in a row?
''We had every chance to win that game. You can say we're working hard. Maybe we have to give an extra effort. All working hard has got us is 1-8.''
The Lock Monsters weren't a whole lot better. But Cousineau made some clutch saves - two big ones on Peluso and Hulst late in the third period, a jaw-dropping glove save of a Patrick Boileau slapper in the first among his best - and Lowell capitalized on two big plays.
After a scoreless first period, the Lock Monsters took a 1-0 lead at 15:18 of the second on a Warren Luhning goal.
It came on a two-on-one break after Dmitri Nabokov - the player the Chicago Blackhawks gave up in trade last year for Dumont - blocked a Steve Poapst shot at the Lowell blue line, then tipped the puck past a sprawled Poapst.
Nabokov carried up the right wing, drew defenseman Rick Mrozik over and slid a pass to Luhning, who snapped the puck past Sebastien Charpentier.
Then, with just 1:47 left in the game, Vladimir Orszagh scored on a breakaway to clinch it.
''We're all disappointed,'' said Charpentier. ''Maybe we're just thinking too much out there instead of just letting things go.''
And maybe, Kumpel said, the team has to find a scorer.
''Someone has got to step up and be the man,'' he said. ''Someone has got to take this on his shoulders and stop it.''