This weekend is a crucial juncture for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in their quest to make the American Hockey League playoffs. Coming into Friday's battle with the Springfield Falcons, the Phantoms sat 10 points behind the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, who hold the last playoff spot in the division. Coincidentally, Bridgeport invades the PPL Center Saturday night.
But first the Phantoms had to address the task at hand. Good old fashioned toughness got it done.
Aaron Palushaj and Cole Bardreau tallied goals, and Anthony Stolarz made 37 saves to backstop Lehigh Valley to a tight 2-1 victory Friday night in Allentown.
With chances to win, Flyers slip in Montreal a bad team loss
If the Flyers victory on Tuesday in New Jersey was a good team win, then Friday's defeat in a shootout to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday was a bad team loss.
Forget the magnitude of the game for the Flyers and their dwindling playoff hopes -- which for one night, actually got better by gaining a point. Forget the fact that, all in all, the Flyers played a solid game that had them in position to win.
This was the game the Flyers really had no excuse for losing. And they found a way to do it.
When regulation ended, all was not lost for the Flyers, who had to face an overtime against the Montreal Canadiens. The one point surrendered held no significance if they picked up the second one in the extra session.
The Flyers would find themselves with six chances to end the game. Three came in overtime. Three more came in the shootout. The Flyers failed to score on all of them.
That handed over another precious point as the Canadiens managed to escape with a 3-2 win on Friday night at Bell Centre.