KENNEWICK — The Everett Silvertips remain in second place in the U.S. Division.
However, that doesn’t matter much since they still control their own playoff destiny following a 5-1 win over the Tri-City Americans before 4,793 fans Saturday at Toyota Center.
Seattle remains atop the division with its 6-3 victory over the Portland Winterhawks, but maintain only a one-point lead over the Tips (41-15-8-3, 93 points) who have two games in hand.
Mario Petit got the start in net — his first start since Feb. 10 at Brandon — and improved to 3-0 in starts against the Americans as Everett moved its record to 5-2-2 against Tri-City this year with one game remaining in the regular season. Petit ended the game with 22 saves on 23 shots as the Tips finished with a 36-22 shot advantage.
The Silvertips scored twice in the opening period and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
It remained 2-0 through the second before an early power-play goal from from Kevin Davis snuck past Americans goaltender Evan Sarthou to push Everett’s lead to 3-0 at 1:00 in the third period.
Former Silvertip Tyler Sandhu broke up Mario Petit’s shutout bid at 8:11 in the third when his goal cut Everett’s lead to 3-1.
But the Tips got late power-play goals from Patrick Bajkov and Sean Richards in the final minutes as the game grew increasingly chippy.
Dominic Zwerger got things started just 2:55 in when he collected a Tri-City turnover in the neutral zone and took advantage of a screen as his wrister beat Sarthou.
Lucas Skrumeda then added his fourth of the year off the rush as he backhanded a shot past Sarthou at 16:14 in the first.
Silvertips 5, Americans 1
Everett 2 0 3 — 5
Tri-City 0 0 1 — 1
1st Period—1, Everett, Zwerger 26 (Juulsen), 2:55. 2, Everett, Skrumeda 4 (Sutter, Tuulola), 16:14. Penalties—Fonteyne Evt (tripping), 5:46; Zwerger Evt (cross checking), 13:14; Coghlan Tc (cross checking), 16:33.
2nd Period—No Scoring. Penalties—Sandhu Tc (slashing), 19:17; Sutter Evt (slashing), 20:00.
3rd Period—3, Everett, Davis 7 (Juulsen, Zwerger), 1:00 (PP). 4, Tri-City, Sandhu 21 (Topping), 8:41. 5, Everett, Bajkov 28 (Davis, Zwerger), 18:20 (PP). 6, Everett, Richards 8 (Sutter), 19:35 (PP). Penalties—Wotherspoon Tc (inter. on goaltender), 0:48; Sandhu Tc (high sticking), 16:28; AuCoin Tc (slashing), 17:10; Wotherspoon Tc (10-minute misconduct), 19:01; Fuller Tc (10-minute misconduct), 19:30; Krebs Tc (major-high sticking), 19:30.
Shots on Goal—Everett 7-19-13-39. Tri-City 6-12-5-23.
Power Play Opportunities—Everett 3 / 6; Tri-City 0 / 3.
Goalies—Everett, Petit 11-5-2-1 (23 shots-22 saves). Tri-City, Sarthou 10-8-2-0 (39 shots-34 saves).