The Baltimore Bandits' Denny Lambert, target Nos. 1, 2 and 3 of the Hershey Bears since the series started Friday night, got his stick on the puck just as he was being knocked to the ice for the hundredth time and put it in the net to lift his team to a 3-2 victory in overtime last night at the Baltimore Arena.
The win gave Baltimore a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five first-round series, which resumes Wednesday night in Hershey.
For a change, it was the other team, in this case the Bears, who had to make personnel adjustments on the fly.
The visitors did a good job while missing top scorer Jim Montgomery, called up to the NHL Philadelphia Flyers just hours before game time. Now they know how the Bandits feel after weeks of struggling along with patchwork lineups as players were summoned to the NHL by Anaheim.
Holding onto a 2-1 lead entering the third period, the Bandits put Hershey on the power play after just 2: 36 and Scott Morrow tied it within a minute. The teams then matched inept power plays for the rest of the period, combining to go 0-for-8.
This being the playoffs, the ice was cleaned and a 20-minute sudden-death period commenced.
It came with far more enthusiastic play, as the players didn't want to stick around until 2 o'clock in the morning, the way the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders did nine years ago this weekend.
The Bandits had four shots on the Hershey net before Lambert's gutty effort from in close.
Earlier in the day, the Bears had received word that the Flyers were calling Jim Montgomery to the big club for its Stanley Cup playoff game against Tampa Bay this afternoon. Montgomery led Hershey in scoring this season (34 goals, 71 assists) while centering its top line.
The Bandits were on a power play when they got careless early. Hershey's Mike McHugh got control of the puck at his blue line and sent penalty-killing partner Vaclav Prospal away for a breakaway against Mike O'Neill.
More than serving to give the Bears the lead, the goal probably convinced the team that it could indeed get a puck past O'Neill. They had to have doubts after his 43-save performance the night before in Hershey.
The lead lasted 10 minutes until Chris Herperger, who played the first half of the season with Hershey, converted a feed from Sean Pronger with a nifty turnaround maneuver from mid-slot.
Three minutes later, the Bandits were on top as Steve King rapped in his third goal of the series on a nice pass to the goal mouth by Jim Campbell.
Baltimore was 40 seconds into a 5-on-3 power play at the time.
Besides leading after a period, 2-1, the Bandits outshot the Bears, 12-7, and had a couple of strong scoring threats.
Hershey .. 1 .. 0 .. 1 .. 0 .. -- .. 2
Bandits .. 2 .. 0 .. 0 .. 1 .. -- .. 3
Pub Date: 4/21/96