ROSEMONT, Ill. – Magnus Paajarvi scored with 1:16 left in regulation to give the Chicago Wolves a 1-0 victory over Oklahoma City on Friday night at Allstate Arena.
Goaltender Jordan Binnington stopped 29 shots against the American Hockey League’s top team as the Wolves (26-18-5-1) ran their winning streak to four games.
“It’s one of those games where it’s a measuring stick to see where we are,” said Wolves head coach John Anderson. “That’s the first place team overall. If we know we can compete with them on a nightly basis, there’s a chance.”
The Wolves and Oklahoma City (30-12-3-3) played two periods without any scoring or penalties, but there was plenty of high-quality action at both ends.
“The first period, they owned,” Paajarvi said. “The second period, we owned.”
As the tension rose, each offensive opportunity for both teams became more important. The Wolves finally broke through at the 18:44 mark of the third period at the end of an extended possession. Adam Burish’s shot from the slot was blocked by Oklahoma City goaltender Laurent Brossoit (14-8-2) toward the bottom of the left circle.
Ty Rattie claimed the puck and saucered a pass across the crease to Paajarvi, who was waiting next to the net to tap it home for the game-winning goal against his former organization.
Binnington (17-9-3), who started his 12th game in a row for the Wolves, earned his second shutout of the season. Brossoit rejected 34 of 35 shots in the loss.
The teams tied a Wolves franchise record by combining for just 2 penalty minutes and it was the first time in team history the Wolves’ opponent did not take a penalty.
The Wolves continue their seven-game homestand with a 4 p.m. game Sunday against Midwest Division rival Grand Rapids. The team’s first Kids and Family Expo begins at 3 p.m. at Allstate Arena. To find the best deals on tickets, visit ChicagoWolves.com or call 1-800-THE-WOLVES.