Rockford IceHogs goaltender Michael Leighton joined elite company on Friday night when he backstopped his club to a 5-2 victory over the Iowa Wild at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
The win was the 200th of Leighton’s American Hockey League career, making him just the 13th goaltender in the league’s 80-year history to reach that milestone.
Leighton made 27 saves in Friday’s victory, improving to 7-2-1 on the season.
Originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1999, Leighton has appeared in 406 regular-season AHL games over his 15-year professional career, posting a record of 200-159-34 with Norfolk, Rochester, Portland, Philadelphia/Adirondack, Albany and Rockford. His 42 shutouts are second only to Johnny Bower (45) in AHL history.
The 34-year-old Petrolia, Ont., native was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team in 2001-02, and won the Baz Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender in 2007-08. Leighton also played in the AHL All-Star Classic in 2002, 2008 and 2012.
In the postseason, Leighton owns the AHL records for saves in a single game (98, in a five-overtime loss on Apr. 24, 2008) and for lowest goals-against average in a single playoff year (1.18, in 2008). He owns a 1.68 GAA and a .946 save percentage in 27 career Calder Cup Playoff contests.
In the NHL, Leighton has made 105 regular-season appearances with Chicago, Nashville, Philadelphia and Carolina. He also reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Flyers in 2010, going 8-3 with three shutouts in 14 games that postseason.