Phantoms head coach Terry Murray has said it over and over again, the power play can win games and the penalty can lose games.
That has been apparent in both wins and losses for the Phantoms this season, and it was the story of the game again Saturday night. Adirondack dropped a 2-1 game to Portland, in which both goals were scored on the power play and it only scored on one of nine of its own.
Brandon Gormley put the Pirates on the board 1:49 into the second period, just 11 seconds after Brandon Manning took a hooking call.
The Phantoms have talked about needed to eliminate those stick penalties, yet committed five of them on Saturday. Adirondack was also called for too many men on the ice twice. That makes seven of 11 penalties that they should be able to avoid.
Three of the 11 penalties came with 1.5 seconds left when Brayden Schenn delivered a big hit on Andy Miele in the form of a cross-check and then the pair was given matching double roughing minors.
If those three penalties are taken out of consideration - 1.5 seconds isn't much of a power play or time to have to spend off the ice - the Phantoms committed eight penalties, seven of which were the sort they have said they need to eliminate, that resulted in eight power plays.
With 1:41 left in the second period, the Phantoms took their first penalty for having too many men on the ice. Twenty-six seconds later, Konan was called for interference (the only let's call it legitimate penalty of the game), creating an extended five-on-three for the Pirates.
Oliver Lauridsen's stick broke as he tried to clear the puck early in the power play, but there wasn't a clear chance for him to get off the ice without leaving only two Phantoms to defend. He did, however, stay in position to block the lanes.
With 27 seconds left in the frame, Michael Stone roofed a shot past Scott Munroe to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead.
The Phantoms had eight power plays of their own and did have some quality looks, but struggled to get past goaltender Mark Visentin. The netminder turned away 24 shots, but the Phantoms took even more that were blocked before they got to the net.
Finally, with 2:37 to play - when desperation had set it and they got their first five-on-three of the game - the Phantoms scored.
Jason Akeson, on the goal line to the left of the net, tried to go backdoor to Sean Couturier, his mirror on the right side, but the puck bounced off a defenseman's stick and back to him. Visentin was in position to block the potential shot from Couturier, so Akeson had an open net in which to shove the puck.
The Phantoms had another 1:37 of five-on-four but could not come up with another goal.
Adirondack's power play has been spotty at best - showing flashes of brilliance, but mostly failing to deliver. It sits at tenth worst in the league at 15.2 percent. Murray has said they should be around 20 percent, which would put them in the top five.
The penalty kill has been pretty reliable for the Phantoms, but has let them down in a big way a few times. Adirondack has a 84.9 kill percentage, but the two goals it allowed Saturday made the difference in the game.