Alex Stalock made 37 saves to tie Thomas Greiss for the most wins in franchise history with 74 as the Worcester Sharks defeated the Springfield Falcons 5-1 at the DCU Center Sunday afternoon to wrap up a three-in-three weekend. James Livingston, Matt Pelech, Sebastian Stalberg, Marek Viedensky and Danny Groulx all scored for the Sharks, who pulled to within one point of the Connecticut Whale for the eighth playoff spot in the AHL Eastern Conference and 10 points of the Providence Bruins for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Despite being outshot 11-4 in the first period, the Sharks scored two goals in a 52-second span to take a 2-0 lead. Livingston put the Sharks up 1-0 at 4:21 when he ripped a shot past the glove of Falcons goaltender Curtis McElhinney from the face-off dot of the right circle on the Sharks' first shot on goal. Jon Matsumoto was credited with the lone assist on the goal, which was Livingston's fourth of the season. At 5:13, Pelech extended the lead to 2-0 with his first goal of the season when he banked the puck off of McElhinney from behind the goal line at the side of the net after the Falcons had turned the puck over.
In the second period, Falcons center Michael Chaput cut the Sharks lead in half when he fired a rifle of a shot from the point that went off the crossbar and in for his 9th goal of the season at 10:07. For the period, the Sharks were outshot 14-7.
Stalberg gave the Sharks some breathing room at 3:02 of the third period when he scored his seventh goal of the season off a quick wrist shot from an impossible angle along the right side wall after stopping McElhinney's clearing attempt to push the Sharks lead to 3-1. The goal was Stalberg's first since Dec. 29, 2012 and his first point since Nov. 24, 2012.
Viedensky added more insurance for the Sharks at 11:13 when he knocked down a Livingston cross ice pass with his midsection, displayed some fancy stick work and roofed a shot over McElhinney from eight feet on top of the crease for his first goal of the season. Sharks rookie defenseman Matt Tennyson was credited with the secondary assist.
With just 90-seconds remaining in the game, Groulx ripped a shot from the point for a power play goal, his fourth goal of the season and second goal in as many days, to seal a 5-1 Sharks win. Sharks defenseman Denny Urban and rookie Daniil Tarasov were credited with the assists.
NOTES... Shots were 38-20 in favor of the Falcons... The Sharks went 1-for-3 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill... Stalock stopped 73-of-75 shots in his back-to-back starts for a .973 save percentage, and is now 15-11-3 with a 2.50 goals-against-average and .917 save percentage... Groulx had a team high four shots on goal... Sharks captain John McCarthy, alternate captain Bracken Kearns and right winger Brodie Reid were the only Sharks players with a minus rating as all three were minus-1... Tennyson has a three game point streak (2-2-4)... Sena Acolatse (inj), Mike Brennan (inj), Curt Gogol (scr), Yanni Gourde (scr), Tommy Grant (scr) and Nick Petrecki (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... This was the fourth of eight meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 3-1-0-0 against the Falcons this season, 10-10-1-3 at the DCU Center and 25-21-1-5 with 56 points overall.
1. Alex Stalock - Sharks (37 saves, win)
2. Matt Pelech - Sharks (1-0-1, GWG)
3. James Livingston - Sharks (1-1-2)