The scoring line trio of Jeremy Langlois, Freddie Hamilton and Daniil Tarasov combined for five points on three goals and two assists as the Worcester Sharks defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers) 4-3 Wednesday night at the DCU Center.
Langlois scored two goals; Hamilton extended his point streak to six games with two assists; Tarasov scored the tying goal to extend his point streak to five games; forward Ryan Carpenter scored a shorthanded that held up as the game winner; and goaltender Troy Grosenick made 32 saves for his sixth win of the season.
"The stars were aligned for us (Wednesday) night," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "We didn't play all that well, except in spurts. We gave up a lot of chances, and our goaltending was really good, but that's why you have goaltenders."
The Phantoms struck first at 5:10 of the first period when on a power play, forward Taylor Leier buried home a one-timer from the left hash mark in the slot off a give-and-go with linemate Petr Straka for his second goal of the season.
Langlois tied the game at 17:14 when he had Hamilton's pass from the right faceoff circle deflect off his skate and through the wickets of Phantoms goaltender Anthony Stolarz for his first goal of the season. Sharks defenseman Matt Taormina, who initiated the play by dumping the puck into the Phantoms zone, picked up the secondary assist.
The Sharks took their first lead of the game at 11:15 of the second period when on a power play, Langlois crashed the net and roofed home a loose puck from on top of the crease for his second goal of the game. Sharks defensemen Taylor Fedun, who took the initial shot from deep inside the right faceoff circle, and Taormina registered the assists.
Sloppy play by the Sharks in their own zone near the end of the period resulted in the Phantoms tying the game at 18:39 when Straka buried home a rebound from in the slot for his third goal of the season.
Moments after Grosenick robbed the Phantoms of a goal on an odd man rush in the third period, the Phantoms took a 3-2 lead at 8:02 when forward Brandon Alderson got behind Sharks defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser down the right side, drew a delayed penalty call and beat Grosenick over the shoulder with a shot from point blank range for his second goal of the season.
Just 49-seconds later, Tarasov tied the game when he lifted a backhanded shot from on top of the crease past a sprawled out Stolarz for his third goal of the season. Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson, who had three Phantoms players gravitate towards him after being left alone on top of the crease for a centering feed, and Hamilton had the assists.
With the Sharks on a penalty kill seconds after Tarasov's goal, forward Rylan Schwartz generated what held up as the game winning goal when he blocked Phantoms defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere's shot from the left point, tracked down the loose puck in the neutral zone, and fired a shot on goal from the left faceoff circle that was stopped by the glove of Stolarz. The rebound landed out in front of the right faceoff circle and Carpenter, who had been trailing on the play, fired a quick shot on net (before crashing down to the ice) that beat Stolarz at 9:52 for his third goal of the season.
"It was a great play and Schwartz played a great game," said Sommer. "He had a lot of ice time, and he earned every minute of it."
With the Sharks nursing a one goal lead, Grosenick stood on his head the rest of the period and made several big saves on odd man rushes and mad scrambles as the Phantoms frantically tied to get the tying goal. The Phantoms' best chance to tie the game came with 35-seconds left when Gostisbehere's blast of a shot rang off the crossbar.
Hemmed in their own zone (despite being on a power play and the Phantoms pulling Stolarz for the equalizing skater), the Sharks iced the puck following Gostisbehere's shot. However, the officials made a mistake on the call, which resulted in a faceoff at center ice that upset Phantoms head coach Terry Murray, who made sure the officials knew his feelings of the call.
At the end of the game, a scrum up ensued after Sharks forward Melker Karlsson took a hit to the head from Phantoms forward Darren Powe, who received a match penalty for checking to the head. Though Karlsson was down on the ice for a couple of minutes, he told Ballou post game his neck got the worst of it.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 35-35... The Sharks went 1-for-5 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill... Grosenick is now 6-2-1 with a 2.81 goals-against-average and .907 save percentage... Hamilton has nine points (4-5-9) during his six game point streak... Tarasov has eight points (3-5-8) during his five game point streak... Fedun had a game high seven shots on goal... Sharks defenseman Gus Young and enforcer Jimmy Bonneau were the only Sharks skaters without a shot on goal... The Sharks have scored a power play goal in seven straight games... Nine of the Sharks' 10 games this season has been decided by one goal... Forward Tyler Kennedy was recalled to San Jose earlier in the week... This was the first of four meetings between the Sharks and Phantoms... The Sharks are 1-0-0 against the Phantoms, 4-2-1 at the DCU Center and 6-3-1 with 13 points overall... The Sharks are back in action Saturday night (Nov. 8) as they host their Atlantic Division rival the Providence Bruins at 7pm/et.
1. Jeremy Langlois - Sharks (2-0-2)
2. Freddie Hamilton - Sharks (0-2-2)
3. Petr Straka - Phantoms (1-1-2)
Langlois / Hamilton / Tarasov
Haley / Karlsson / Carpenter
Lerg (A) / Trupp/ Hayes
Bonneau / Schwartz
Tennyson / Taromina (A)
Fedun / DeMelo (A)
Abeltshauser / Doherty