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Shutout-shootout loss for Wolves

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Updated: April 1, 2014 11:47PM

The Wolves did everything but score. And that will hurt their chances to win the Midwest Division.

Jake Allen had 22 saves for his league-leading sixth shutout, but Patrick Cehlin scored the winner in the shootout to give the Milwaukee Admirals a 1-0 victory Tuesday at Allstate Arena.

Admirals goalie Scott Darling stopped 36 shots and five of six in the shootout, handing the Wolves (39-20-5-4) their second consecutive loss.

The Wolves picked up a point, lowered their playoff magic number to two and could clinch Wednesday, but they’re five points behind the division-leading Grand Rapids Griffins.

They’re also one step closer to a likely first-round matchup with the Abbotsford Heat, a team more than 1,700 miles from Rosemont.

“We’ll just deal with it when it comes,’’ Wolves coach John Anderson said before the game. ‘‘I prefer it was some place closer, but whatever happens, happens, and we’ll just deal with it at the time. It’s better than the alternative, right?”

Other than not being able to score, the Wolves looked ready for the playoffs with eight games left in the regular season. Allen tied the franchise record for shutouts in a season, and the Wolves had more scoring chances.

“The key — and we did a good job of it tonight — is we didn’t get frustrated,” captain Taylor Chorney said. “We kind of stuck with it and kept putting pucks on net, and they just didn’t go in tonight. I don’t think it was because we didn’t play well or anything like that.

“We just didn’t get anything past [Darling].”

Allen’s performance was encouraging for the Wolves, who had allowed 15 goals in their last three games.

“We still gave up a few high-end scoring chances that we need to clean up before getting in the playoffs,” said defenseman Mark Cundari, who was recalled by the Calgary Flames after the game. “I’m sure it will sort itself out here.”

The Wolves don’t play again until Saturday, when they host the Admirals.

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