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Phantoms Post 3-2 Overtime Win in Game Two of East Division Finals
Carter Scores Game-Winner with 4:40 Left in OT
Friday, May 7, 2004
By Al Cohen
Rookie Jeff Carter scored the game-winning power-play goal with 4:40 left in overtime to lift the Philadelphia Phantoms to a 3-2 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins tonight at the Wachovia Center. With the win, the Phantoms evened the best-of-seven East Division Finals at a game apiece.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had the first power play of the extra session when the Phantoms were called for too many men on the ice at the 10:41 mark, but came up empty. Less than four minutes later, Shane Endicott was sent off for holding Kirby Law in front of the Wilkes-Barre net, giving Philadelphia its sixth man advantage of the game.
Nearing the midway point of the power play, Carter came away with the puck during a scramble in the corner, skated into the circle and beat Penguins goaltender Sebastien Caron far post. Ian MacNeil and John Slaney received assists on Carter's third postseason goal and second game-winner.
"It was awesome, we got down early and the boys battled hard to get back and it was a huge win for us to even up the series," said Carter, who was the Philadelphia Flyers' first-round pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
"This kid (Carter) has given us some quality play in some tough situations," said Phantoms head coach John Stevens. "He is a guy who relishes responsibility and wants to be the guy out there who makes a difference."
Defensemen Slaney and Dennis Seidenberg each scored in the second period as Philadelphia rallied from a 2-0 first-period deficit. The comeback victory tonight came two days after Wilkes-Barre overcame a three-goal second-period hole to win Game One.
Antero Niittymaki stopped 28-of-30 shots, including all 19 he faced over the final two-plus periods to register the win.
Caron, who posted the win in relief on Wednesday, finished with 36 saves tonight.
Wilkes-Barre opened the scoring for the second time in as many games when Endicott buried the rebound of a Patrick Boileau shot at 2:41 of the first period. Tom Kostopoulos also assisted on Endicott's second postseason goal.
The Penguins doubled their lead at the 7:27 mark as Boyd Kane sat in the box due to a cross checking minor. Michel Ouellet tallied the follow-in goal, his first of the playoffs, with assists going to Ryan Whitney and Konstantin Koltsov.
"Well, we called timeout there (after the two goals) and just said whatever happens here, lets do it together," added Stevens. "We were getting frustrated and the ice seemed to be tilted against us, but our team showed an unbelievable amount of heart to come back. We just felt like if we played our game and played the way we know we are capable, we can come back and win the hockey game."
After getting outshot 11-9 in the first period, the Phantoms held an 18-7 advantage in the second as they rallied to even the score at 2-2.
The Penguins had the first power play of the second stanza, but spent the majority of the two minutes in their own end. Philadelphia maintained possession as the man advantage ended and Freddy Meyer set up Slaney for a slap shot into the top right corner of the net at the 4:02 mark. Mark Murphy also received an assist on Slaney's third goal of the playoffs.
Philadelphia knotted the score during a 4-on-3 situation with 90 seconds to go in the second. Seidenberg patiently worked the puck from side to side with Law and Slaney before unleashing a drive from between the circles that sailed over Caron's right shoulder.
It was Seidenberg's second goal and fourth point in three games since re-joining the club from a stint with the Flyers.
The series now shifts to Wilkes-Barre for Games Three and Four on Saturday and Monday. Game Five is set for Wednesday in Philadelphia.
Phantoms Notes: Stephen Wood, Ben Eager, James Laux, Les Borsheim, Kirk Furey, Steve Gainey and Craig Berube were scratched ... The Phantoms are now 9-7 all-time in Game Two of a playoff series and 9-7 when a playoff game goes into overtime ... Law has four assists in the last three games ... Carter has scored in three straight games ... Murphy has seven points (3G, 4A) in his last six games ... Philadelphia improved to 10-0 this season when wearing its purple third jerseys.
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