WILKES-BARRE, P.A. -- Aided by 34-save shutout from Brad Thiessen, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins blanked the Charlotte Checkers, 3-0, in Game 2 of the East Division Finals.
It was the first time the Checkers were held to less than two goals in the playoffs.
With the win, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton evens the best-of-seven series, 1-1, with the next three games scheduled to be played at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
For Thiessen, it was his first shutout of the playoffs after he finished the regular season ranked second in the AHL with seven. Brett Sterling and Chris Collins were the goal scorers for the Penguins.
Mike Murphy made 28 saves on 30 shots for the Checkers and took his first road loss of the playoffs (2-1). Murphy’s overall postseason record now stands at 4-2.
Sterling opened the scoring at 15:17 of the second period after a goaltending duel that lasted more than 35 minutes. Former ECHL Checker Corey Potter fired a shot from the point which bounced off a Checkers defenseman and into the slot. Sterling picked up the loose puck and beat Murphy through a screen.
Just 2:22 into the third period, Collins made it a 2-0 game when he used Ryan Craig as a screen and ripped a shot low blocker-side past Murphy.
The Checkers mustered 34 shots and were given seven power-play opportunities on the night, but were unable to break through against the league’s top-ranked defensive unit.
Craig then iced the game with an empty-net goal with 43 seconds to play and the Penguins won, 3-0.
After a day off on Sunday, the Checkers and Penguins resume the East Division Finals at Time Warner Cable Arena for Game 3 on Monday night at 7 p.m.