Phantoms' defense on display in Flyers' loss
Half of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms' defense was on display at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon as the Flyers to San Jose in a shootout, 3-2.
Two of the call-ups _ Mark Alt and Oliver Lauridsen _ recovered after a shaky start. The other call-up, Brandon Manning, played well while on the ice for a staggering 25:07.
Manning will be with the Flyers for their final six games, and he could earn a spot with the team next season. Alt and Lauridsen were returned to the Phantoms after the game.
Alt and Lauridsen were on the ice for an early San Joe goal _ set up by a Jake Voracek turnover _ but settled down.
Alt made his NHL debut, while Lauridsen played in his 16th NHL game.
"It took a few shifts. As soon as you get a few shifts in, you settle down," said Alt, who fired six shots _ three that were blocked, and three that missed the net. "The game slows down. I had some fun."
Lauridsen also had some early jitters. "It's the first (NHL) game in a long time, and there was a little bit of experience to rely on, but that was not a whole lot," he said.
Alt, Lauridsen and Manning were in the lineup because Mark Streit and Carlo Colaiacovo had the flu, and Luke Schenn and Andrew McDonald were injured.
"I thought all those guys played well. It was physical out there. So was Big O (Lauridsen), and Atltsy played pretty well himself," forward Ryan White said. "It's tough for those guys to just hop in there and play. Especially against a team like the Sharks. They have some firepower over there, and big bodies….I thought the guys played well and gave us a good chance to win."
Lauridsen, who received a 10-minute misconduct late in the game, and Alt were paired together.
"We know what the other is going to do. I'm used to playing with him," Alt said. "It kind of made it easier in a sense. I knew what to expect from him as a D partner."
Alt's dad, John, was an offensive tackle with the Kansas City Chiefs, spending his entire 13-year career with the team. The younger Alt was an outstanding quarterback on his Minnesota high school team and helped it win a state title as a senior, when he was named the state's player of the year. Division I football scholarships were offered.
Instead, he played hockey at the University of Minnesota, helping the Golden Gophers earn two NCAA tournament berths in his three years at the school.
Breakaways. The Flyers' tragic number is two points, and they could be eliminated from the playoff picture Sunday….Michael Del Zotto played a career-high 30:18….The Flyers outhit the Sharks, 37-17…. The Flyers set a new franchise record with their 25th game of the season that's gone beyond regulation. The previous record was 24 in 1998-99….Forty-one of the Flyers' 76 games have been decided by one goal; they are 14-10-17 in those games..
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