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Lenz, Martin The Difference As Pistons Shut Out Blues

Matt Lenz made 27 saves for his second shutout of the season, and Pistons leading scorer Brendan Martin had the game winner with 5:18 remaining as Steinbach blanked the Winnipeg Blues 1-0 Tuesday night.

Steinbach came out flying in the first half of the opening twenty minutes, but lost their mojo after the media timeout. The Blues carried the play for the last half as they outshot Steinbach 14-6 in the period. But Lenz shut the door on Winnipeg and it was scoreless.

The Pistons pushed back in the second, outshooting the Blues 12-3 to take an 18-17 edge in shots on goal. But Winnipeg starter Jeremy Link was up to the task and matched Lenz’s effort in the first period. It was 0-0 after forty minutes of play.

The final period was a back and forth affair in which both Lenz and Link had to make 10-bell saves. Link’s best save came on a deflection from Easton Bennett, and the puck almost got through the legs. However the Blues’ tender kept it out as he squeezed the skate blades.

Lenz’s best save of the game came on a 2-on-1, in which he slid across and robbed a Blues forward of a goal.

With just over five minutes to go, the Pistons and Blues exchanged penalties. On an offensive zone faceoff four-on-four, Brendan Martin won the draw and picked his way to the front of the net. He opened up Link and slid it through the five-hole for his 23rdof the season, and it gave Steinbach the all-important first goal of the game with 5:18 to go.

That lead would stand, as Lenz and the Pistons defence shut the door to preserve a 1-0 victory.

GUESS WHO’S BACK

Matt Radomsky was on the Pistons’ bench for tonight’s game, as he was the backup for Lenz. Radomsky is back after his stellar performance in which he backstopped Team Canada West to a bronze medal at the 2018 World Junior A Challenge.

INJURY REPORT

Pistons F Boedey Vaeth took an open ice knee-on-knee hit by Blues D Griffin Chwaliboga late in the second period. He left the ice and did not return to the game.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Pistons were 0 for 3 on the power play, and killed off all six penalties they faced.

UP NEXT: These two teams will meet again at the BellMTS Iceplex on Friday night at 7:00 pm. Catch that game live on MIX 96 and Steinbachonline.com with Dave Anthony, or watch the game live on HockeyTV. The Pistons will close out 2018 at home on Saturday, when the Selkirk Steelers come to town for a 7:30 pm matchup.