The Checkers have won three games in a row for the first time this season thanks to a 3-1 victory in a Monday afternoon matinee in Cleveland.
Max McCormick, Oliwer Kaski and Dave Gust scored for the Checkers, whose winning streak comes during a larger surge in play that has seen the team win seven of nine since Dec. 7. With a record of 16-13-3, the Checkers now find themselves just three points out of the fourth and final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
With much of the game played at 1-1 when Cleveland answered Max McCormick’s first-period goal with one of their own early in the second, recent trade acquisition Kaski picked up the winning goal midway through the third period with a blast set up by Steven Lorentz’ ability to corral a neutral-zone turnover and rush up ice.
In six games as a Checker since the Carolina Hurricanes acquired him from the Detroit Red Wings organization in exchange for fellow blueliner Kyle Wood, Kaski now has four points (2g, 2a) and a plus-4 rating.
The Monsters had several opportunities to tie the game late if not for Forsberg, who made several excellent saves, including a point-blank chance by Brett Gallant, down the stretch the preserve the lead before Gust found the empty net in the final minute.
The Checkers will now return home for a few days of practice before their seven-game road swing carries into the new year with games in Providence on Saturday and Sunday.