MILWAUKEE — The Wolves seized an early lead, but the AHL-leading Admirals gradually gained control for a 4-1 victory Friday night at Panther Arena.
Forward Brandon Pirri scored for the Wolves (25-24-3-2), who had just 17 players suit up because center Gage Quinney and defenseman Zach Whitecloud were recalled on loan by the Vegas Golden Knights 30 minutes before the game. Forward Valentin Zykov sat out the game because of an to illness.
For the second game in a row, Pirri opened the scoring. Defenseman Jaycob Megna swiped the puck at the Wolves’ blue line and fed it ahead to Pirri, who stayed ahead of two Milwaukee defensemen and flipped a backhander top-shelf to beat goaltender Connor Ingram at 3:32 in the first.
The Admirals (36-12-4-3) made it 1-1 at 14:34 of the first when defenseman Jeremy Davies maneuvered his way into open space and flung a backhander from the right faceoff circle off the post for the score.
The Admirals took a 2-1 lead at 7:51 in the second period on Daniel Carr’s 20th goal this season. Carr, who earned AHL MVP honors with the Wolves last season, helped coordinate an odd-man rush and then headed to the crease to knock home a rebound.
Milwaukee added an insurance goal on the power play with 7:22 left in regulation. After Curtis McKenzie was sent off for holding, the Admirals found Rem Pitlick open in the high slot for a quick blast for a 3-1 lead.
Wolves coach Rocky Thompson pulled goaltender Oscar Dansk with a little over four minutes remaining to give the Wolves a six-on-four advantage on a power play, but the Admirals killed it off.
Dansk stayed off the ice after the power play, and Carr found the empty net with 1:13 to go.
Dansk (18-10-2) stopped 21 shots for the Wolves. Ingram (18-5-5) had 27 saves for the Admirals.