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Road wins rally Pens

Norfolk’s Mike Angelidis collides with Penguins players Geoff Walker and Brian Strait in the first period of Friday’s away game.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins players celebrate after Nick Petersen scores a goal in the first period for a 1-0 lead.

Photo Courtesy The Virginian-Pilot / Thomas Slusser

Norfolk Admirals’ Carter Ashton takes a shot on goal and is taken out by the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ Andrew Hutchinson in the second period inside the Scope Arena.

Photo Courtesy The Virginian-Pilot / Thomas Slusser

NORFOLK, Va. — It was a familiar feeling for Nick Petersen. During Friday’s Game Five playoff matchup between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Norfolk Admirals, Petersen scored two first-period, power-play goals – the first playoff tallies of his American Hockey League career – to lead the Penguins to a pivotal 2-1 win. The Penguins swept all three games in Norfolk to carry a 3-2 series lead back to Wilkes-Barre for Saturday’s Game Six. The road wins gave the Penguins two chances to clinch the first-round Calder Cup series. For Petersen, putting up playoff points is nothing new. During the last three seasons in juniors, Petersen totaled 56 points in 47 playoff games. He now has two goals in five AHL playoff games. “I like to be a star player and put up big goals,” Petersen said. “I was happy to step up.” Early on, there was a hint that Petersen could be in for a big night. Six minutes into the game, a pass from Keven Veilleux sprung Petersen on a breakaway and his five-hole attempt almost got through the pads of Norfolk goaltender Dustin Tokarski. On the next shift, two Norfolk penalties resulted in a Penguins 5-on-3 power play for 1:15. The Penguins struck quickly when Brett Sterling sent a pass through the crease to Petersen at the far post for the easy tip-in. With less than two minutes remaining in the first period, the Penguins went on their second power play and Petersen converted on a wraparound attempt after he picked up a loose puck from a Sterling shot. That made it 2-0 and the Penguins were in control with two periods to play. “We wanted to come out and put it to them tonight,” Petersen said. Despite welcoming star players Blair Jones, Mattias Ritola and Mike Angelidis back to the lineup, the Admirals power play was shut down by the Penguins penalty kill for most of the night. With Brad Thiessen playing like a wall in net and the defense blocking shots, the Penguins killed off the first five Admiral power plays, including four in the first two periods. “Everyone stepped up and played well,” coach John Hynes said. “We didn’t give up any big plays, which was important. That’s a key when you play against a great offensive team.” The Admirals did manage to find the back of the net on their sixth power play of the night, when Norfolk defenseman Mark Barberio blasted a one-timer from the point at 9:45 of the third period to cut the Penguins’ lead to 2-1. Thiessen finished with 23 saves.

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