ALBANY, N.Y. - For the fifth time this season, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms rallied from a second-intermission deficit to pull out a comeback victory. On Friday night in Albany, it was Corban Knight (6th), Chris Conner (12th) and Andy Miele (5th) who all scored in the third-period surge for a 4-3 triumph over the Devils.
Scott Laughton scored his 10th of the season to spark the team early in the second period after a sluggish start put the Phantoms behind the eight-ball in the form of a 2-0 hole. The Phantoms have four times this season overcome a two-goal deficit for a victory. Three of those comeback were on the road (Providence, Springfield, Albany).
Lehigh Valley saved their best for last...as usual. With three more goals in the final minutes the Phantoms are outscoring their opponents 70-37 in the third period for an astonishing +33 margin. That rates as the most goals scored and largest margin for any AHL team in any period.
Alex Lyon and the rest of the Phantoms had to hang on at the end while killing Albany's 5-on-4 then 6-on-4 and eventually 6-on-3 advantage. The Devils had at least one extra man for the final three minutes of regulation and made it two men with a pulled goalie with 1:45 to go. But the Phantoms held strong and Lyon made the big stops for the team's 30th win of the season. Lyon had to slide quickly to his right to make a chest save on a last-second offering by Carter Camper to eventually preserve the win. It was a last-second push across that was eerily similar to the Marc-Andre Fleury save at the end of Pittsburgh's Stanley Cup Game 7 victory at Detroit in 2009.
Lehigh Valley gained ground on the first-place Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins who dropped a 5-2 decision on their home ice against the St. John's IceCaps. Lehigh Valley trails first place by seven points but also has two games-in-hand on the Penguins. The Phantoms travel to Wilkes-Barre on Saturday for the first time this season in a showdown of the top two teams in the American Hockey League.
Information courtesy Lehigh Valley Phantoms.