Marathon men need OT again

Barely 36 hours after finishing the longest game in American Hockey League history, the Albany River Rats and Philadelphia Phantoms were at it again on Saturday afternoon.

Michael Leighton followed up his 98-save effort in Thursday’s five-overtime loss with a 40-save shutout and Kirk MacDonald scored 10:38 into overtime to give Albany a 1-0 win in Game 6 of the teams’ East Division semifinal series at the Wachovia Center.

The epic Calder Cup Playoff series is now headed to a seventh and deciding game, set for Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

Leighton (3-3), who won the Baz Bastien Award as the AHL’s outstanding goaltender in the regular season, recorded his second shutout of the series and has now allowed just eight goals on 284 Philadelphia shots in 452 minutes of work, good for a 1.06 goals-against average and a .972 save percentage.

Phantoms goaltender Scott Munroe, who made 65 saves in Game 5, extended his personal shutout streak to 176:22 before MacDonald’s game-winner. Munroe (3-3) has a 1.46 GAA and a .947 save percentage in the series.

MacDonald’s game-winner in overtime was assisted by Bryan Rodney and Nicolas Blanchard.

The winner of Tuesday’s Game 7 will advance to face the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the East Division final.

Philadelphia will be playing its first Game 7 since defeating Kentucky, 9-3, in the 1999 Western Conference semifinals. Albany’s only previous Game 7 was in 1997, a 6-2 win at Rochester in the Northern Conference semis.