Rivalry Renewed - Phantoms Tally Six Unanswered In Bounce Back Win

Saturday, January 31, 2015
Lehigh Valley ends the weekend on a high note.
Tonight in Wilkes-Barre, with their backs against the wall - down 2-0 halfway through the first period - the Lehigh Valley Phantoms huddled together on the bench during a media timeout. They had already lost five of their last six games coming into tonight's game and looked down and out after allowing a Tom Kuhnhackl power play goal 10:23 into the contest.

I'm not sure what was said on the bench during the short break, but whatever was said worked. Andrew Gordon finished off an odd-man rush less than two minutes later to get the Phantoms on the board and things took off from there. The Phantoms ended up rattling off five more unanswered goals in a big 6-2 victory that could have possibly saved their season. Only time will tell.

"Going into the third period, we said this could be the biggest period of the year," Taylor Leier mentioned post-game. "The boys really stuck together to get a win tonight. It was a good feeling."

The Phantoms had an early first period power play chance that they managed to create some chances with (three shots), but were unable to get on the board first.

The Penguins killed off the penalty and took a 1-0 lead shortly after on an even strength goal by Scott Wilson. Wilson's 9th of the season was assisted by Bryan Rust and Andrew Ebbett.

Things looked like they were in control by the Penguins when they took a 2-0 lead on a power play goal by Tom Kuhnhackl, but a well-timed media timeout gave head coach Terry Murray a chance to calm his players down and get them re-focused on the game.

Things seemed to shift from that point on. Nick Cousins got the puck to Jay Rosehill on an odd man rush with Andrew Gordon and Rosehill sent a one-time pass to Gordon, who rifled one past Murray to get the Phantoms on the board with 7:30 left in the first frame.

The Phantoms tied the game late in the first period on Adam Comrie's first goal of the season. Comrie picked off a Penguins clearing attempt in the neutral zone and caught the Pens' penalty killers out of position. Comrie skated inside the offensive blue line and ripped a slap shot past Murray to make it a 2-2 game.

The goal that turned out to be the eventual game-winner was a rewarding kind of goal, the first pro goal by Jesper Pettersson. Pettersson was smiling ear to ear in his post-game interview, noting it was his first goal in a long, long time.

"The boys were loving it," Leier said of Pettersson's first pro goal, adding, "[Pettersson] said he hadn't scored in like two years. Even when he scored, you could tell how happy he was. We were happy for him."

Pettersson's goal further established the Phantoms' momentum in the second period and they broke things open in the first shift of the third, getting a goal from Leier 20 seconds into the final frame to extend their lead to 4-2.

Nick Cousins tallied his 14th of the season - a power play goal - less than four minutes later to make it 5-2 and the Phantoms rolled on from there.

After Akeson's goal made it 6-2 with 10:04 left in regulation, things started to pick up physically. In all, there were 130 penalty minutes dished out including a double game misconduct to Penguins forward Pierre-Luc Leblond. Leblond's game misconduct for receiving an instigation minor in the final five minutes of the game constitutes an automatic suspension of at least one game.

Phantoms head coach Terry Murray didn't like the Pens' decision to put their fighters on the ice late in the third period of a 6-2 game.

"Less than five minutes in the game and you got two of our skilled young guys, smaller guys, getting attacked like that. I wanted to stay away from putting the heavyweights out against that but you know, the game's over. You have to just suck it up and move on and get ready for your next game sometimes. It's disappointing to see."

ROSTER NOTES - Penguins

Matt Murray (9 saves - 12 shots) got the start in net tonight, one night after putting forth a 28-save shutout Friday night in Springfield. Murray was pulled after allowing three goals on 12 shots in 25:10 of work. Jeff Zatkoff, in his first game back on the ice after missing time with an injury, replaced Murray and was victimized for three goals on eight shots.

The Pittsburgh Penguins re-assigned forward Andrew Ebbett to the AHL Pens earlier today, but also recalled defenseman Derrick Pouliot. Ebbett tallied two assists in his return to the WBS lineup.

The lineup changes for the Pens tonight:

OUT - D Derrick Pouliot, F Matia Marcantuoni and F Adam Payerl
IN - D Alex Boak, F Andrew Ebbett and F Pierre-Luc Leblond

Lines

Conor Sheary - Nick Drazenovic - Tom Kostopoulos
Scott Wilson - Andrew Ebbett - Bryan Rust
Tom Kuhnhackl - Carter Rowney - Jayson Megna
Pierre-Luc Leblond - Dominik Uher -Bobby Farnham

Taylor Chorney - Brian Dumoulin
Reid McNeill - Barry Goers
Nick D’Agostino - Alex Boak

Matt Murray - Jeff Zatkoff

ROSTER NOTES - Phantoms

Rob Zepp (27 saves - 29 shots) got the start in net for the Phantoms, with rookie Anthony Stolarz serving as the backup.

Same lineup for the Phantoms, dressing 11 forwards and seven defensemen for the third straight night.

Blair Jones is out long term with a lower body injury. Darroll Powe is still out with an upper body injury.

Scratches: Mark Alt (broken hand since 12/31), Shayne Gostisbehere (ACL surgery - resumed skating), Blair Jones (lower body) and Darroll Powe (upper body)

Lines

Zack Stortini - Nick Cousins - Andrew Gordon
Taylor Leier - Kevin Goumas - Jason Akeson
Jay Rosehill - Austin Fyten - Brett Hextall
Derek Mathers - Brandon Alderson

Brandon Manning - Robert Hagg
Adam Comrie - Steven Delisle
Oliver Lauridsen - Brett Flemming
Jesper Pettersson

Rob Zepp - Anthony Stolarz

GAME SUMMARY

1st Period

2:55: WBS - (PP) Boak, minor (high-sticking)
6:24: WBS - Wilson (9) - Rust, Ebbett
9:16: LV - (PP) Flemming, minor (closing hand on the puck)
10:23: WBS - PPG Kuhnhackl (4) - Rust, Ebbett
12:30 LV - Gordon (14) - Rosehill, Cousins
13:58: WBS - (PP) McNeill, minor (cross-checking)
15:47: LV - PPG Comrie (1) - Leier, Hagg

16:58: LV - (PP) Pettersson, minor (hooking)
18:49: WBS - (PP) Kostopoulos, minor (slashing)

2nd Period

3:22: WBS - (PP) Megna, minor (high-sticking)
4:14: LV - (PP) Alderson, minor (holding)
5:10: LV - Pettersson (1) - Cousins
6:55: LV - (PP) Rosehill, minor (roughing)
9:12: WBS - Leblond, major (fighting)
9:12: LV - Mathers, major (fighting)
15:23: LV - (PP) Stortini, minor (interference)

3rd Period

0:20: LV - Leier (11) - Akeson
2:16: WBS - (PP) Chorney, minor (tripping)
3:53: LV - PPG Cousins (14) - Gordon, Stortini
9:54: LV - Akeson (9) - Leier
10:05: LV - Lauridsen, ten-minute misconduct (unsportsmanlike)
10:05: WBS - (PP) McNeill, minor (boarding)
10:05: WBS - McNeill, ten-minute misconduct (unsportsmanlike)
12:43: WBS - (PP) Sheary, minor (goaltender interference)
15:45: LV - Fyten, ten-minute misconduct (unsportsmanlike)
15:45: WBS - Boak, ten-minute misconduct (unsportsmanlike)
16:45: LV - Delisle, ten-minute misconduct (unsportsmanlike)
16:45: LV - Stortini, major (fighting)
16:45: WBS - Farnham, ten-minute misconduct
16:45: WBS - Leblond, minor (instigating)
16:45: WBS - Leblond, major (fighting)
16:45: WBS - Leblond, game misconduct (instigator last 5:00 - Rule 46.12)
16:45: WBS - Leblond, game misconduct (Third major/second fight - Rule 20.4)
16:45: WBS - Megna, ten-minute misconduct (abuse of officials)
18:03: LV - Mathers, minor (roughing)
18:03: LV - Mathers, major (fighting)
18:03: LV - Mathers, game misconduct (third major/second fight - Rule 20.4)
18:03: WBS - Chorney, minor (unsportsmanlike)
18:03: WBS - Chorney, major (fighting)

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