Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ryan Murphy extends point streak to 11 in Checkers win

The Checkers season of peaks and valleys continued on Tuesday with a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Admirals at Norfolk Scope Arena.

With the win -- which required Charlotte to score two goals in the game's final five minutes -- the Checkers (27-26-3) extended their winning streak to three games and improved their record on their current 10-game road trip to 3-2-1. 

After falling behind, 2-1, with 10 minutes to play in regulation, the Checkers earned their first power-play opportunity of the night. 

Philippe Cornet made sure it hurt, netting his 11th goal of the season to even things at two with 4:30 to play. 

With under a minute to play in the third, Charlotte's Sean Dolan sealed the comeback with his second goal this season, thanks to a nice setup from Aaron Palushaj. 

Justin Peters, likely playing in his final conditioning game with the Checkers, made 24 saves to pick up his third win in the last four days. 

The Hurricanes -- who have had Peters in the AHL for 13 of the maximum 14 days allowed by the NHL's CBA -- must now either recall the 27-year-old goaltender, place him on waivers and hope he clears, or trade him. 

To this point, Peters has amassed a 4-1-1 record, 2.14 goals-against average and .932 save percentage at the AHL level in six games this season. 

Defenseman Ryan Murphy was also able to continue both his point and assist streaks in the win when he picked up the primary assist on a Chris Terry breakaway goal midway through the second period. 

Both Murphy's point and assist streaks now sit at 11 games, which ties a Checkers franchise record and ranks as the fifth-longest in the AHL this season. 

After beginning their road trip 0-2-1 and seeing their chances to make the playoffs dip below 10-percent, according to SportsClubStats.com, the Checkers can once again hold their heads high knowing they've picked up points in six of their last eight games (5-2-1). 

The win also moved Charlotte into 10th place in the Western Division (its highest position since Feb. 5) and just five points out of a playoff spot with 20 games still to play. 

The Checkers will now return to Charlotte for a few days of practice before heading out to San Antonio for the conclusion of their franchise-record 10 consecutive road games. 

Notes: Murphy's 11-game point streak is tied for the longest by an AHL rookie this season. He now has 18 points (1g, 17a) in 16 games with Charlotte. … Terry’s goal was his 20th of the season and extended his current point streak to four games. ... The Checkers, who went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill on Tuesday, are now 15-for-15 on the PK over the last four games … Brett Sutter, who had an assist, also extended his point streak to four games. … Matt Marquardt and Keegan Lowe were healthy extras. … Brendan Woods (out three to five weeks) and John Muse missed the game due to injury.