Jack Campbell comes through in the shootout for the Condors, after Raphael Lavoie scored with less than a minute remaining to send the game to overtime.
Campbell just hasn’t done enough overall in Bakersfield, to inspire confidence he can get the job done back in the NHL. He entered Tuesday night’s game with a 1-4-0 record, .884 save percentage and 3.22 Goals Against Average.
However, the 2010 11th overall draft pick gave a good account of himself in Henderson, Nevada, as the Condors emerged victorious. While it took going all the way to a shootout, they ultimately beat the Silver Knights 4-3.
A barn burner from the word go
The game was an end-to-end thriller right from the first puck drop. The Condors struck the first blow at the 7:14 mark, as Cam Dineen scored on the power play for a 1-0 advantage.
However, the Condors held onto their advantage for less than a minute, as the Silver Knights scored on a power play of their own. Campbell could do little to stop Adam Cracknell’s seventh goal of the AHL season, as his own defenceman got in the way.
The Condors would not be deterred through, as they regained their lead within just 1:17 thanks to Jayden Grubbe. While the Silver Knights had a slight 10-8 advantage in shots on goal, the visitors took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Jack Campbell stands up to barrage
It was the second period where Campbell would really earn his salary, as the hosts lay siege on his net. In particular, he withstood an early penalty kill situation with two key saves.
The Silver Knights dominated 19-8 in shots on goal during the second 20 minutes. However, thanks to the play of Campbell the hosts only scored one goal off a rebound on another power play, to make it 2-2 after two periods.
The third period saw the Condors get the better of the play, with a 11-6 advantage in shots on goal. However, the Silver Knight took their first lead of the night on yet another power play, to make it 3-2 at the 6:19 mark.
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It looked as if the Condors were going to fall short. However, they tied up the game at 3-3 with just 49 seconds left, on a power play of their own.
Raphael Lavoie hit a heat-seeking missile which gave the Silver Knights goalie no chance. It was Lavoie’s team-leading sixth AHL goal of the season, and the game was going to overtime.
Jack Campbell comes through
The hosts had a 7-3 advantage in shots on goal during the extra period. However, they just couldn’t get past Campbell and the contest proceeded to a shootout.
The Silver Knight took a lead through two rounds, before the Condors tied it in the third round. The nervy shootout went six rounds in all, before the visitors secured the win thanks to Matvey Petrov.
While not one of the game’s three starts, Campbell certainly played his part in the 4-3 victory. He stopped 39 of 42 shots and then five of the six shootout attempts he faced, for his second win in three starts.
We still stand firm in our opinion it’s too soon for the Oilers to recall the 2022 All-Star. (Thoughts of the Blue Jays bringing Alek Manoah back too early spring to mind.) However, he is at least beginning to build a case to justify a return to Edmonton.
With the win the Condors improved to 6-7-0 on the season, but remain in ninth place in the Pacific Division. Next up they will return home to face the Central Division-leading Texas Stars on Friday night, a team which Campbell previously played parts of five seasons for.