The Checkers hung on for a 2-1 win in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday, earning their third straight victory and extending their point streak to a season-best five games (4-0-1).
Andrew Miller and Andrew Poturalski scored in the second period of a penalty-filled contest that saw the teams combine for 17 total power-play opportunities. That was all the scoring that Charlotte would need, as Jeremy Smith (22 saves) held the fort during a third period that saw Daniel Sprong put his team on the board in the first minute.
It was the Checkers’ second victory in as many visits to a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton team that entered the night as the Atlantic Division leaders.
The current point streak eclipses a 4-0-0 run the team put together from Nov. 3-10. Charlotte is 5-1-1 since suffering four consecutive regulation losses from Nov. 11-18 … This was Smith's first victory since Nov. 8. He has allowed just one goal in each of his last two starts, stopping 62 of 64 total shots … Miller, the Checkers' scoring leader, extended his point streak to three games (2g, 3a) … Of the nine (non-empty-net) goals scored in two games between Charlotte and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, seven came on special teams … Charlotte's 10 power-play opportunities tonight were a season high … The Checkers improved to 5-0-1 in one-goal games … This was Charlotte's second victory of the season when scoring fewer than three goals … Jake Chelios returned to the lineup for the first time since Oct. 29 after missing the last 14 games due to injury. He recorded assist on Miller's opener … Forward Lucas Wallmark missed the game due to injury … Forwards Mike Ferrantino and Nick Schilkey and defenseman Dennis Robertson were healthy extras.
The Checkers wrap up a quick weekend road trip with a visit to Binghamton tomorrow night (7:05 p.m.). They then return home to play six home games in 10 days starting Tuesday.
The Checkers' vice president of communications, Paul Branecky has been covering hockey in North Carolina since 2006, including five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes.