LABARBERA SETS MONARCHS MARK WITH 59 SAVES IN OT WIN
/ Los Angeles Kings
HARTFORD, CT – Goaltender Jason LaBarbera stopped a franchise high 59 shots and right wing Lauri Tukonen scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Manchester Monarchs their fifth victory in a row, a 3-2 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack in front of 4,384 fans at the Hartford Civic Center on Friday night.
Manchester (20-10-6-1) is in first place in the Atlantic Division with 47 points. Hartford (17-16-3-0) is tied for fourth place in the Atlantic Division with 37 points.
The scoring started at 17:38 of the opening period when center Patrick O'Sullivan put in his 12th goal of the season to give the Monarchs the 1-0 lead. With 10 seconds remaining on Hartford defenseman Martin Richter's tripping penalty, Monarchs defenseman Eric Werner raced into the Wolf Pack zone and passed the puck from the right face-off circle to right wing Tim Jackman in the high slot. Jackman sent a wrister in on Wolf Pack netminder Al Montoya who made the pad save. The puck trickled to the right of Montoya in the crease and O'Sullivan was there to tap in the rebound.
The Wolf Pack tied the score at 1-1 at the seven-minute mark of the second period with defenseman Daniel Girardi's first tally of the season. Girardi carried the puck into the Monarchs zone and threw the puck at the net. Girardi's shot fluttered through the air and snuck through the LaBarbera's pads. Left wing Dane Byers and center Brandon Dubinsky assisted on Hartford's second period goal.
Center Gabe Gauthier gave Manchester their lead back with a shorthanded tally, his seventh goal of the season, at 9:04 of the middle frame. Gauthier stole the puck in neutral territory and skated into the Wolf Pack zone. At the bottom of the left wing circle, Gauthier let go a snap shot that ripped into the top, right corner of the net for a 2-1 lead.
Peppering LaBarbera with 30 shots in the third period, Byers pushed one over the goal line at 12:54 of the third period to tie the game at 2-2. While on the power play, right wing Ryan Callahan set up on the right point and fired a shot on LaBarbera who made the save and redirected the rebound to his right. Byers was on the doorstep to push the puck into the open net. Defenseman Ivan Baranka assisted on the tying goal.
Tukonen scored the game-winning goal at 1:55 of overtime to give the Monarchs their fifth straight victory. Defenseman Doug Nolan passed the puck to Tukonen who flipped a backhand shot over Montoya. Gauthier earned his second point of the night by assisting on the game-winning goal.
LaBarbera earned his fourth win in a row, 18th of the season with a Monarchs franchise high59 saves. Montoya took the overtime loss stopping 20 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-4 on the power play. Hartford was 1-for-5 with the man advantage.