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Phantoms, Devils clinch playoff spots

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Albany Devils secured berths out of the Eastern Conference in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs on Wednesday night.

Needing a single point, the Phantoms came from behind for a 2-1 shootout victory at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The Devils clinched on the strength of a 6-3 win over Hartford combined with Utica’s 7-2 loss to Syracuse.

Under head coach Scott Gordon, the Phantoms (46-23-5-0, 97 pts., .655) are heading to the postseason for the first time since the franchise’s last campaign in Philadelphia in 2009. Lehigh Valley is two points away from wrapping up second place in the Atlantic Division and home-ice advantage in its first-round series.

Rick Kowalsky’s Devils (38-31-2-3, 81 pts., .547) are playoff-bound for the third time in four years. Albany will finish either third or fourth in the North Division and face Toronto or Syracuse in the first round.

The AHL’s 2016-17 regular season ends Saturday; for more information and daily updates on the Calder Cup Playoff races, check out the official AHL Playoff Primer.