An all time team record and quite possibly a Hartford hockey record was set by Hartford Wolf Pack goaltender David LeNeveu. The Pack won 2-0 last night against a very good Manchester Monarch team. The shutout was the teams' third in as many games. LeNeveu has been between the pipes the entire time facing on average about a shot every other minute. Last nights performance was not only against a playoff team on the road but it also was LeNeveu's highest save total out of all three contests. LeNeveu first shut out was earned on short notice as he was anointed the starter last Saturday against Bridgeport. Starting goaltender Dov Grumet Morris was a little "banged up" after performing well in seven straight starts and he needed a rest. LeNevue shut out Bridgeport in that game. He made 22 saves that night and then earned another 31 the next day in a Saturday matinee against those same Bridgeport Tigers.
Fast forward to Last night and LeNeveu turned away another 37 shots giving him a total of 90 straight saves, three straight wins and 180 minutes of scoreless play. Going into the season the Wolf Packs near total defensive unit replacement was a concern but LeNeveu has often thanked the players "in front" of him.
Last night the Pack only needed one goal but they got two. Danny Kristo scored the game winner, his 22nd of the season, at 7:25 of the second period and Captain Aaron Johnson scored a Pack power play goal, his fifth of the season. He also gave the Pack a two to nothing lead over the Monarchs. That would be the final score after a scoreless third period.
The Pack have outscored their opponents 9-0 over these last three games. When the defense is on lockdown as it has been the last few games there just doesn't have to be a lot of scoring, there is a Yodaism in there somewhere.
LeNeveu, one would assume, will get his fourth consecutive start tonight. This will be another difficult matchup because the Wolf Pack have not beaten Providence this season. They have been outscored 26-13 in five straight losses. The Pack have been outscored 14-9 at the XL Center by the Bruins. The silver lining is the last two match ups, both in Providence, the Pack lost 3-2 both times, once in a shoot out and once in over time. With the Pack playing as they are it should keep the Bruins busy tonight who are off two back to back win at home against Worcester. The Bruins beat Worcester last night in a shoot out 3-2.
The other story, although on the back burner, is the Packs ultra slim playoff chances. They need to win and Providence, who holds the 6th playoff spot, needs to continue to lose.They can make both happen tonight.
Tomorrow the Wolf Pack play a Sunday afternoon game against Norfolk where they will have to win again as Norfolk holds the final playoff spot in the conference. The Admirals are ten points up on the Pack, which is as close as they have been to a playoff spot since November.
Providence and Norfolk are two pretty big games with a playoff implications on the line. There are only seven games left, the season is sun setting fast. The last two home games are April 18 and the season ending game is on April 19.
You can listen to the remaining road games on 1410AM with Bob Crawford or you can watch them on WWW.AHLLIVE.com.