In Rinkside Roundup, a wild affair out west saw Michael Leighton pick up the victory in his first NHL apperance of the year as the Philadelphia Flyers out-gunned the Los Angeles Kings 7-4. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Flyers. Leighton the former Adirondack Phantoms and Albany River Rats goaltender settled down in the third and made 32 saves overall for Philadelphia.
For the Kings it was only their third regulation loss at home all year, though they have now allowed an astonishing 13 goals in their last two contests. L.A. had two one-goal leads in the first before going into the locker room tied at 2-2. However four goals in the second proved enough for the Flyers as they shredded through the Kings goaltending firm of Jonathan and Jonathan (Bernier and Quick). Mike Richards and Ryan Smyth had two goals a piece for the Flyers and Kings respectively.
Down in Atlanta former Albany River Rat Niclas Bergfors picked up his 12th helper on the season for the Thrashers as they downed the Boston Bruins 3-2 in a shootout.
Around the “A” East Greenbush native and Toronto Marlies defenseman Matt Lashoff picked up his 15th assist on the Marlies lone goal as they fell to the Rochester Americans 2-1 in Toronto.
Down in Norfolk it was a back and forth affair between the Admirals and Charlotte Checkers. There was plenty of scoring from former Albany River Rats in this one. Early in the first Checkers defenseman Casey Borer put Charlotte out front with his second goal of the season from Zac Dalpe and Brett Carson. Then it was Chris Terry’s 14th from Jerome Samson and Bryan Rodney to double the Checkers advantage 2-0.
Norfolk would battle back with two goals of their own in the final minute of the first frame. Mike Angelidis scored his tenth of the season against his former Rats teammates for the Admirals to cut the lead in half. Then 16 seconds later Chris Durno who assisted on Angelidis’ goal, picked up his tenth with Angelidis picking up a secondary assist to send both clubs to the locker room tied 2-2 after one.
Fast forward to the third and it was Angelidis again beating Justin Pogge for his eleventh of the year and second of the game to put Norfolk out front for the first time 3-2. However Charlotte would square things at 3-3 on the power-play as former Adirondack Phantom Jon Matsumoto broke through for his ninth of the year from Zac Dalpe and Jacob Micflicker.
Hence the contest went to OT but the extra frame didn’t last long. Drayson Bowman netted his fourth goal of the season for the winner from Brett Carson just 25 ticks into the extra frame as the Checkers earned the extra point over the Admirals 4-3. Justin Pogge made 33 stops and collected 12 PIM in the win.
Their parent clubs will soon be pairing up for the NHL Winter Classic in Pittsburgh, but the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins and Hershey Bears put on their own intense AHL match-up Thursday night. Former Albany River Rats Captain Keith Aucoin’s ninth goal of the season on the power-play for the Bears in the second was all they’d need as Braden Holtby’s 25 saves made it stand up for the 1-0 win over the Penguins. As a side note former Rats enforcer Jesse Boulerice got in a scrap for the Pens late in the second.
Finally in Albany Devils news Nick Palmieri was recalled by the NHL New Jersey Devils. The Utica, NY native had a cup of coffee with New Jersey last season and is back up with the big club for the first time this season.