PROVIDENCE, R.I. – It was a wild, back-and-forth affair between the Providence Bruins and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday as the teams traded goals and the lead through the course of the game, but Artem Anisimov’s second goal of the game in overtime lifted the visiting Phantoms to a win by a 5-4 final score. Samuel Ersson earned the win with 24 saves, while Keith Kinkaid suffered the loss with 35 stops. The win and a Springfield regulation loss lifted the Phantoms back into the sixth and final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.
The Phantoms struck early, with Kieffer Bellows tallying his third goal of the season just under five minutes into the game, but the Bruins would respond with Joona Koppanen’s second goal of the season late in the first period. After the Phantoms took the lead with a shorthanded goal for Elliot Desnoyers, his tenth of the season, the Bruins rattled off three straight goals to open up a 4-2 lead. Fabian Lysell, Marc McLaughlin, and Samuel Asselin did the damage, including two power-play markers to open up an extensive lead for one of the division’s top teams.
How good is Fabian Lysell? Let this assist speak for itself. Lysell, No. 22 in black, carries into the zone, pulls the penalty killers towards him and dishes a spin-pass to Asselin to put Providence up 4-2. Wow. #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/JCpXFT4h4k
— Bruins Network (@BruinsNetwork) December 17, 2022
However, much as the Phantoms did in their previous trip to Providence about a month ago, they fought back and brought the game even at four. Anisimov got the ball rolling with his first of the game just over two minutes into the final frame, and Adam Ginning tallied his first of the season to send the game to extra time. Anisimov finished the game by burying a power-play goal with less than a half minute in the extra frame to secure the win. It’s the third win in a row for the Phantoms, who are pushing their way back in the conversation for the top teams in the Atlantic.
That’s a heck of a win for the @LVPhantoms! They go a perfect 3-0 this season in Providence. Kieffer Bellows and Artem Anisimov, since their arrival, have helped the Phantoms offense turn into a juggernaut
— Matt Trust (@Matt_Trust) December 17, 2022
Anisimov’s goal continues an impressive run since joining the Phantoms and recently signing an American Hockey League contract for the remainder of the season with the team. In eight games at the AHL level this season, Anisimov has scored seven goals and added three assists for ten total points, and it’s been a massive boost for the Phantoms to have a scorer of his caliber this season. He’s chipped in seven points over his last three games in that span, coming off of a four-point performance in Lehigh Valley’s previous outing against the Charlotte Checkers.
The two teams are set to rematch at the PPL Center in Allentown in the back half of this home-and-home set in a 7:05 PM EST start time.
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