Penguins Squeeze Past Phantoms

Friday, April 5, 2013
I think Jeff Zatkoff said it best after tonight's 3-2 overtime win over the Phantoms.

"When you get to overtime, it's anyone's game," the Penguins netminder said.

Tonight, it was the Penguins game.

Starting the extra session with some carry over power play time, the Pens were able to get pressure and subsequent chances but couldn't find the winner with the man advantage.

It wasn't until after a great keep in by Beau Bennett, that a shooting lane opened up for Alex Grant. Grant's slap shot from just inside the blue line whistled past Brian Boucher and sent the WBS bench into a frenzy. 

"Feels great when those go in," Grant said of the game winner. "Those aren't points you want to giveaway. It's big getting that second point."

The win gives the Penguins 80 points on the season and keeps them within range of 5th place in the Eastern Conference. The Pens trail 5th place Portland by just one point after both teams won in tonight's action.

Joey Mormina has spent time on both sides of the Phantoms/Penguins rivalry so I figured it would be good to ask him what he thought of tonight's game. I'll have more on Mormina in a later story but here's some of what he said after tonight's win:

"In the third period, we had a lot of guys step up and found a way to get an important two points. We knew they were a team on a roll and a team that works hard. I thought we had some good team toughness tonight."

After a scoreless first period, the Phantoms struck first in the second. Garret Roe got behind the WBS defense on a Penguins breakout of the zone and Jason Akeson stole a puck and found Roe all alone down low. Roe got off a bad angle shot that eluded Jeff Zatkoff to give the Phantoms a 1-0 lead.

The Penguins would tie it up less than four minutes later while on a power play. Brian Gibbons fed a cross ice pass to Joey Mormina on the point. Mormina's shot was deflected in past Brian Boucher by Jayson Megna to tie things up at one. It was Megna's 5th goal of the season.

The 2nd period also featured two fights with Alex Grant and Bobby Farnham dropping the gloves with Derek Mathers and Jeff Dimmen, respectively. The Penguins and Phantoms still have that rivalry feel despite only only seeing each other four times this season. The physical play continued in the third period.

In the third, Riley Holzapfel notched his 19th of the season, finishing off an odd man rush with Brian Gibbons and Cody Wild. That gave the Pens a 2-1 lead, but the Phantoms tied it up with 6:44 to go on a Shane Harper power play goal.

The Penguins bus back home tonight and host the Albany Devils tomorrow night, before another home game on Sunday against the Hershey Bears.


Jeff Zatkoff got the start in net, making his third straight appearance between the pipes for the Penguins. Another solid performance from Zatkoff, who stopped 27 of 29 shots he faced tonight.

Healthy scratches: Clark Seymour, Reid McNeill, Christian Minella, Dominik Uher and Chris Collins

Injured list: Tom Kuhnhackl (shoulder surgery - out for season) and Phil Dupuis (out indefinitely since 1/15)


*Holzapfel - Smith - Kolarik
*Bennett - Gibbons - Thompson
Payerl - Peters - Megna
Farnham - Sill - MacIntyre

* Bennett and Holzapfel flipped spots in the lineup for the third period.

Reese - Dumoulin
Mormina - Samuelsson
Grant - Wild


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