MANCHESTER, NH – Left wing Ryan Murphy tipped in the game-winning goal with less than four minutes on the clock to edge the Lowell Devils past the Manchester Monarchs 2-1 at the Home Opener in front of 8,432 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night.
Manchester (1-2-0-0) is tied for fifth place in the Atlantic Division with two points. Lowell (2-1-0-1) is ranked second in the Atlantic Division with five points.
Murphy tallied his first goal of the season at 16:10 of the final stanza to give the Devils the win. Defenseman Tyler Eckford fired a shot from the left point that Murphy got his stick on to redirect past Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Quick for the go-ahead tally. Right wing Stephen Gionta earned an assist on the winning goal.
Following a scoreless opening period, the Devils struck first at 3:44 of the second frame with a power play goal off the stick of center Rod Pelley. Monarchs defenseman Davis Drewiske was in the box for cross-checking and defenseman Eric Werner had just stepped onto the ice from his interference penalty when Pelley slipped the puck by Quick. Cycling the puck on the power play, right wing Jon DiSalvatore fed the puck to center Pascal Rheaume. The veteran centerman found Pelley in the slot for the shot that trickled between Quick's legs for his first goal of the season.
With less than five minutes remaining in the game, Monarchs center David Meckler evened the game at 1-1 with his first tally of the season. On the power play, center Gabe Gauthier passed the puck to center Marty Murray in the right corner of the Devils zone. Murray passed the puck to perfectly lay on Meckler's stick for the one-timer that beat Lowell's goaltender Scott Clemmensen at 15:18 of the third period.
Quick (0-2-0) took the loss stopping 39-of-41 shots. Clemmensen (2-1-1) earned his second win of the season with 18 saves.
Manchester went 1-for-6 with the man advantage. Lowell was 1-for-8 on the power play.