|Ice Hockey Spotlight:
Penguins Shut Out Phantoms 2-0
Wednesday, February 18, 2004
By Al Cohen
Patrick Boileau recorded a goal and an assist and Sebastien Caron stopped all 30 shots he faced as the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins downed the Philadelphia Phantoms, 2-0, tonight at the Wachovia Spectrum.
Boileau set up Matt Murley's first-period goal and tallied his first of the year in the second stanza to help Wilkes-Barre/Scranton win for just the second time in its last 10 tries (2-5-2-1). The Penguins evened the season series at 3-3, with four match-ups remaining.
Reassigned from the Philadelphia Flyers earlier in the day, goaltender Antero Niittymaki finished with 20 saves and suffered the loss for the first time in his last 10 starts as a Phantom. Philadelphia has dropped four of its last five games overall and had a nine-game home unbeaten streak (8-0-1) come to an end.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton tallied the lone goal of the first period on the first shot of the game. With Phantoms defenseman Wade Skolney serving a holding minor, Murley netted his ninth of the year at the 2:57 mark. Boileau and Michel Ouellet received assists on the play.
"I thought the game overall was kind of flat," said Phantoms head coach John Stevens. "The worst thing you want to do is get behind early and that's what happened."
Boileau then doubled the Penguins lead at 6:01 of the second period with his first goal of the year. Playing in his first game with Wilkes-Barre, Jesse Cook and Shane Endicott fed Boileau for a shot from the left point that beat Niittymaki near post.
Ian MacNeil had the best scoring opportunities for the Phantoms, hitting the post during the opening minute of the second period and getting stuffed on a shorthanded wraparound attempt early in the third.
Philadelphia outshot the Penguins, 30-22. Wilkes-Barre had eight power-play chances, compared to three for the Phantoms.
"When you continue to get into penalty troubles throughout the hockey game, it sucks energy and life out of your hockey team," added Stevens. "It's tough to win when the power plays are 8-3 against. It's just time off the clock and taking energy out of your legs. We have to get away from that. We can't continue to kill penalties at this rate."
The Phantoms are back at the Spectrum on Friday at 7:05 p.m. vs. the Hershey Bears before beginning a season-high seven-game road trip on Saturday in Hershey. Saturday's game will be televised live on CN8.
Phantoms Notes: James Laux was an injured scratch, while Kirk Furey and Chris Houle were healthy scratches ... Peter White began serving a two-game suspension due to an incident on Saturday in Worcester ... Earlier in the day, Kirby Law was recalled by the Flyers ... Mark Murphy played in his 300th AHL game ... Law missed his first game of the season, making Murphy and Ben Stafford as the only Phantoms to appear in all 54 games ... Niittymaki's last loss was on Jan. 2 vs. Worcester.
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