Phantoms one win away from Cup

PHILADELPHIA ( … Mike Richards and Patrick Sharp scored 67 seconds apart in the first period and Antero Niittymaki shut the door again with 29 saves as Philadelphia reached the brink of a Calder Cup championship with a 2-1 win over Chicago on Wednesday night at the Wachovia Center.

With the victory, their third one-goal win of the series, the Phantoms have a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Wolves and can wrap up their second AHL championship as soon as Friday.

Stephen Weiss was whistled for spearing 7:59 into the game and the Phantoms capitalized on both halves of the double-minor penalty.

Richards wristed a shot from the left face-off circle to make it 1-0, and Sharp buried a loose puck from in close at the 9:57 mark.

Chicago got a goal from J.P. Vigier during a five-minute advantage in the second period, but could get no closer. The Wolves still have not scored an even-strength goal in their last 223:11 of game action.

Niittymaki has now stopped 104 of 106 Wolves shots in the Calder Cup Finals.

Philadelphia has tied an AHL record with 10 consecutive home victories in a single postseason. The Phantoms have won 12 straight home playoff games overall.

Attendance at the Wachovia Center for Game 3 was 12,412.