After being thoroughly dominated through two and a half periods of play, the Wolf Pack managed to gut out an impressive come-from-behind overtime win against the Philadelphia Phantoms tonight in Hartford.
The Phantoms came out fast and physical from the first drop of the puck, forcing a turnover deep in the Pack zone only 60 seconds in for a shot by Phantom’s center Pete Zingoni. Wiikman made a sprawling first save to the left side of the net, but the rebound went out to the right side, where Triston Grant was standing all alone for the open net goal to give the Phantoms the early 1-0 lead. The Phantoms took it to the Pack the rest of the period, but as they’ve managed to do many times this season, the Pack somehow redeemed a seemingly lost period with a late goal when Corey Potter fired a hard low shot from the right point that Phantom’s goalie Martin Houle stopped. But P.A. Parenteau and Mark Lee both got sticks on the rebound before Lee was able shuffle it across the crease to Lauri Korpikoski, who put the puck in the open side of the net. So the Pack escaped the period with an unlikely 1-1 tie, despite getting outshot 15-9.
The seconds period brought more of the same from the Phantoms, but less good fortune for the Pack. Only a two minutes in Wiikman stopped Zingoni on a breakaway, but Grant crashed the net behind him and was able to one-time the rebound home. Less than three and a half minutes later Hugh Jessiman took a lazy hooking penalty in the offensive zone to give the Phantoms their first power play of the game, which they converted on with a deflected point shot only 13 seconds in. The Phantoms continued to dominate the play for the remainder of the period, outshooting the Pack 15-7. Had it not been for the strong play of Wiikman, who faced 39 shots by the end of the game, the score could have been much worse.
A Phantom win looked just about assured through the first half of the third, with the Pack unable to generate anything offensively and the Phantoms controlling play, winning physical battles and getting in passing lanes in all three zones. But when Denis Gauthier took a hooking penalty at 11:02 to cancel out the final 28 seconds of a Jake Taylor high sticking penalty, the Pack’s 3rd-ranked power play got a chance to go to work for the 5th time in the game. And the 5th time was a charm thanks to some nice puck movement in the Phantom’s zone. Corey Potter, on the left point, got the puck across to Korpikoski in the right circle, who one-touched it across the slot to Parenteau in the left circle for the one-timer to cut the Phantom’s lead to one.
The goal energized the Pack and just over 3 minutes later Jessiman redeemed himself for his offensive zone penalty with a strong rush up ice, crashing in on net and getting an initial shot off which Houle stopped. But Dane Byers was right behind him and backhanded the rebound past Houle to tie it up at the 16:22 mark. The Pack continued their strong play after they tied it up, and it looked like the two teams would be headed to overtime until Byers took a ill-advised hooking penalty with only 1:43 left in the game. Only 18 seconds in it seemed the Pack’s late-game efforts would be for naught, as Phantoms defensman Lars Jonsson got the puck in the high slot and fired it past Wiikman for the Phantom’s second power play goal of the game.
To the Pack’s credit, they didn’t let the goal deflate them, and after taking a time out to regroup they hit the ice and got the puck deep in the Phantom’s zone so they could get the extra skater on. In the final half minute of the period, Korpikoski and Parenteau cycled the puck deep in the right side corner before Korpikoski passed it out in front of the net, where a Phantom player intercepted it. But Byers was right there to take it back and dish it off to Greg Moore who swept it past Houle with only 15 seconds left in the regulation.
With momentum clearly in their favor, the Pack took the ice for overtime. And when Stephan Ruzicka got called for holding just 28 seconds in, the Pack got a chance to go back on the power play. It didn’t take them long to seal their unlikely comeback, when Andrew Hutchinson fed Parenteau in the high slot. With plenty of time and space Parenteau fired a perfect wrist shot past Houle as the Pack bench exploded off the bench to celebrate.
And as if that wasn’t good enough, just 30 seconds later, Chris Drury tied the Rangers up with the Devils, leading to what would be a great ending to what looked like it would be a bad night all around for the Rangers organization.
- Josh Gratton missed the game due to illness
- The two teams meet again on Friday in Philadelpha.
- The scoring on the first goal in the Pack’s game against Worcester on Sunday has been changed to take an assist away from Anisimov and give it to Hutchinson
1. Korpikoski (18) (Lee, Parenteau) 19.34
3. Parenteau (27) (Korpikoski, Potter) 13:05 (PP)
3. Byers (20) (Jessiman, Anisimov) 16:22
3. Moore (22) (Byers) 19:45
4. Parenteau (28) (Hutchinson, Pock) :37 (PP)
Lines (to start, they were shuffled in the 2nd)
Korpikoski – Moore – Parenteau
Byers – Ouellette – Owens
Dupont – Anisimov – Pock
Lee – Jessiman
Hutchinson – Potter
Brown – Baranka
Taylor – Sauer
1. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
2. Triston Grant
3. Lauri Korpikoski
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