Alex Lyon makes 94 saves to help team win in AHL's longest game ever

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Flyers' AHL affiliate wins in 5OT (0:17)

Lehigh Valley Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon makes 94 saves, and the team wins in the fifth OT on a goal by Alex Krushelnyski. (0:17)

Lehigh Valley Phantoms goalie Alex Lyon finished with 94 saves on 95 shots as his team beat the Charlotte Checkers 2-1 in five overtimes, making it the longest game in the 82-year history of the AHL.

Alex Krushelnyski scored 6:48 into the fifth overtime period, giving the Phantoms the Game 4 win of the Calder Cup playoff series between the AHL affiliates of the Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes.

Krushelnyski's score came at 1:09 a.m. local time, more than six hours after the game started.

Lyon, 25, who started seven games for the Flyers this season, stopped the last 79 shots he faced while shutting out the Checkers over the final 119:56 of the game.

He said Thursday that he was up early as usual to take a walk and stop for a breakfast sandwich and his morning coffee.

"This morning I'm feeling happy, obviously," Lyon said. "The saves aren't as big a deal to me as us getting the win. To win after basically playing two-and-a-half games is such an emotional ... oh, a relief. The human body wasn't meant to do that."

Lyon lost count of how many water bottles he went through; normally he drinks at least eight in a regulation game. To keep their energy up, Lyon and his teammates drank Coke and ate cookies, brownies, fig bars and bread slices during the overtime intermissions.

He went through a range of emotions during the marathon contest. At times Lyon savored the atmosphere, especially the fast pace of regulation and the early part of the first overtime. But the game slowed, and he admitted to getting irrationally frustrated as his teammates struggled to score. He also fought boredom.

"You're standing in the crease for so long," he said, "and you're seeing the same thing over and over again. It really blends together."

Lyon's 94 saves weren't a record, though. The AHL mark for most saves in a game belongs to Michael Leighton, who stopped 98 shots for the Albany River Rats in a 3-2, five-overtime loss to the Phantoms on April 24, 2008.

"Someone rubbed that in my face," Lyon said, laughing. "You think you're in the record book, and you're not."

Lyon said his 94-save feat shouldn't overshadow the work of his teammates.

"I wish I could act like the warrior in this situation, but we had one of our defensemen go down with a knee injury halfway through the first period," he said. "So we were playing with five defensemen [instead of six], which is totally mind-blowing to me.

"At least I can try to recover and take a knee when the puck's down at the other end. Sometimes you go through four or five minutes of a lull where you're standing around. Five defensemen? It doesn't seem like a big deal to maybe a common fan. I'm sure you know it's so much more ice time, just so much more, so that was really impressive."

Charlotte's Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 51 of 53 shots in the loss.

The Checkers' 95-53 advantage in shots on goal included a 54-29 edge during sudden-death overtime.

The game surpassed the previous longest AHL mark, a 2008 first-round meeting between the Philadelphia Phantoms and Albany River Rats. It also was longer than all but three NHL games ever played.

Fortunately for both teams, Game 5 isn't scheduled until Saturday in Charlotte. The Phantoms have a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.