Phantoms Defeat Penguins 4-3 in OT
Baker Scores Game-Winner 1:28 into Extra Session
Thursday, December 26, 2002
By By Al Cohen
Rookie Jack Baker scored the game-winning goal 1:28 into overtime to lift the Philadelphia Phantoms to a 4-3 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tonight at the First Union Arena.
Goaltender Antero Niittymaki finished with a team season-high 37 saves for Philadelphia, which has won three of its last four games. Peter White contributed a goal and two assists, while Mark Greig and John Slaney each added two points as the Phantoms evened the season series with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at 3-3.
Penguins goaltender Robbie Tallas made 31 saves before leaving with an injury late in the third period. His replacement Sebastien Caron then let in both shots he faced to suffer the loss.
Philadelphia drew first blood tonight on White's 13th goal of the season. Following cross-ice passes from Greig and Slaney, White wound up with the puck in the near circle. The veteran center paused for a moment before placing a wrister over Tallas' left shoulder at the 4:00 mark.
The Penguins evened the score with 7:53 left in the opening period on Tom Kostopoulos' 11th goal of the year. Alexander Zevakhin took the initial shot on the play and Kostopoulos was there to deflect it past Niittymaki for his fifth goal in six games vs. Philadelphia this season.
After failing to score during a 5-on-3 situation during the first period, the Phantoms did not waste another chance late in the second. Slaney began the sequence with a pass to White in the far corner. White immediately centered it to Law outside the crease, and the left wing tipped it up and over Tallas at the 17:43 mark for his 10th of the season and fourth power-play goal.
Tomas Surovy's power-play goal with 6:29 left in the third period knotted the score at 2-2, but Greig answered 67 seconds later off a cross-ice feed from White. It was the 14th goal of the year for Greig, who was playing in his 300th career game as a Phantom.
The Penguins responded again during another power-play chance, as Toby Petersen evened the score at 3-3 with his eighth of the year. Surovy and Matt Murley set up the tying goal with 2:17 to play in regulation.
Baker then notched his first career game-winner and third goal of the season 1:28 into overtime, with assists going to David Harlock and Ian MacNeil. Philadelphia, which was playing its sixth overtime game of the season, has also won three of its last four road games.
The Phantoms return to action on Friday in the opener of a home-and-home series with the Hershey Bears. They host the Bears at the First Union Spectrum at 7:05 p.m. before playing at Hershey's new GIANT Center on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
Phantoms Notes: White has 12 points (7G, 5A) in his last seven games and 13 points (7G, 6A) in 11 games since re-joining Philadelphia on Nov. 12 ... Philadelphia's 17 shots in the first period fell one shy of a season high ... The Phantoms' previous season high for saves was 34 by Niittymaki on Nov. 18 at Utah ... Wilkes-Barre's 40 shots were a season high by a Phantoms opponent ... Philadelphia's last overtime win on the road was on Nov. 21, 2001 at Hershey.
|©2002 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.