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Phantoms take Round 1

ROSEMONT, Ill. … In a game reminiscent of the first round of a heavyweight title fight, Philadelphia struck the first blow with a 1-0 win over Chicago in the opener of the 2005 Calder Cup Finals on Thursday night.

Mike Richards scored a power-play goal 5:58 into the second period, providing the only offense of the night. Jon Sim set up the goal with a nifty behind-the-back pass to Richards, who was camped at the top of the Wolves crease.

Both goaltenders were sharp all evening, with Antero Niittymaki earning his third shutout of the postseason with 27 saves. Kari Lehtonen took the loss despite stopping 31 of 32 shots.

It was the first 1-0 win by a road team in Calder Cup Finals history. Chicago, which had led the AHL in postseason scoring averaging 3.29 goals per game, was shut out on home ice for the first time since a 2-0 defeat against Milwaukee back on Dec. 10, 2003.

Game 2 is set for Saturday night back at the Allstate Arena.