Roster notes: Kasperi Kapanen left yesterday to join Team Finland, Frederik Gauthier was out with some minor bruises, and Nikita Soshnikov was also nursing an injury.
Marlies forwards: Bailey-Nylander-Panik Leivo-Arcobello-Hyman Leipsic-Carrick-Frattin Findlay-Faille-Rodewald— Kyle Cicerella (@KyleTheReporter) December 13, 2015
Marlies D-pairings: Harrington-Brennan Campbell-Valiev Loov-Percy— Kyle Cicerella (@KyleTheReporter) December 13, 2015
Jonathan Bernier's AHL shutout streak had to come to an end at some point. It's just too bad that it had to come on the first shot against him in the game. It was Jordan Subban who snuck in behind the Marlies' D and shovelled a backhander home.
Bernier AHL shutout streak ends at 187 minutes 58 seconds. Had stopped 70 shots in first three games, beat on game's first shot today— Kyle Cicerella (@KyleTheReporter) December 13, 2015
The Marlies pushed back quickly, and began immediately to spend more time in the Comets' zone. Eventually, it was Subban who got called for hooking to send the Marlies to the power play. The first unit with Nyander was unable to get anything done, but on the second power unit, Matt Frattin took a beautiful backhand shot to tie the game that beat Comets' goalie Joe Cannata upstairs.
The first ended with the Marlies leading 7-4 in shots, and the game knotted at one.
Just 1:04 into the second period, it was the Comets who took the lead. With Mark Arcobello, Stuart Percy, William Nylander, and Viktor Loov on the ice for some 4-on-4 time, the Comets broke in 2-on-1 on Bernier and beat him cleanly with a shot.
Then, just over 50 seconds later, the Marlies' Findlay coughed up the puck in the neutral zone on a power play, and the Comets' Mike Zalewski scored again on a consecutive shot to make it 3-1.
Fortunately for Toronto, recent Orlando Solar Bears call-up Eric Faille reduced the gap to one just over two minutes later
The Marlies were handed back to back power plays before the halfway mark of the second, but not only did they fail to score the tying goal, they actually gave up two separate odd-man rushes that Bernier had to deal with.
Later, the Comets appeared to have scored, but the goal was waved off, supposedly due to one of the Comets' players making incidental contact with Bernier, though no official explanation was given by the referees making the call. Even after the second intermission it was unclear why the goal was called back.
Finally, with just 27 seconds remaining in the second period, it was Nylander who came to the rescue, as Panik dug the puck out from behind the net and the young Swede threaded the needle short side on Cannata for his AHL-leading 32nd point in his 25th game.
William Nylander ties it late in the second period with his AHL-leading 32nd point. pic.twitter.com/lqWyJJkql5— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) December 13, 2015
At the end of two, the shots were 17-15 in favour of the Marlies.
The third period began innocuously enough, but just 3:40 in, the Comets took a too-many-men call, and only 8 seconds into the penalty, Mark Arcobello wristed home a power play goal with assists going to Stuart Percy and Nylander.
It took until exactly 1:00 left in regulation, but with Cannata pulled and six attackers on the ice, the Comets' John Negrin tied the game by tipping a Subban wrist shot that came from the about 10 feet inside the blue line.
Jordan Subban sends it to OT (it was tipped but he created the play). He's been great. pic.twitter.com/CIEeBWSOAE— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) December 13, 2015
The Marlies fought back and the Frattin line pressed for a last-second goal. With just 26 seconds remaining, the Comets' Wacey Hamilton took a slashing penalty, but the Marlies just couldn't put the game away and it went to overtime.
With the Marlies on the power play in overtime, the odds of Toronto notching another win looked good, but the team gave up its second shorthanded goal of the game on a T.J. Brennan giveaway at the offensive blue line. Nylander did his best to chase down Alex Friesen, but Friesen went five-hole on Bernier to score his second of the game and complete the comeback win.
Marlies lose 5-4 after a Brennan turnover at the offensive zone blueline on the PP. Friesen with the goal. pic.twitter.com/moHmSIbqO4— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) December 13, 2015
Thoughts on individual players:
- Let's just look at these tweets about Nylander:
Nylander averaged 1.98 shots on net per game in rookie year. This season up to 3.12 per outing.— Kyle Cicerella (@KyleTheReporter) December 13, 2015
William Nylander's current points per game rate (1.32, 33 points in 25 GP) is the highest of any teenager in @theAHL history.— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) December 13, 2015
- Matt Frattin was one of the Marlies' best players this afternoon. He scored a beauty for the Marlies' first of the day, and his line was generally a physical force that the Comets had a hard time dealing with.
- Jonathan Bernier was... well, not great. Overall, you'd have to call his conditioning stint a successful one, but leaving on this note doesn't exactly instil a lot of confidence:
Bernier 3-0-1 on conditioning stint. Stopped 91 of 96 total shots but gave up five goals today in loss to Comets.— Kyle Cicerella (@KyleTheReporter) December 13, 2015
- Stuart Percy was back in the lineup after being a scratch yesterday. He played a fair bit on both the penalty kill and the power play and picked up an assist on Arcobello's power play goal.
- Why is Arcobello with the Marlies?