Unlike the previous two games, the Lynx (32-33-1-4) couldn't pull off the victory for their absent coach.
The home team put on a show filled with comedy, drama, violence and -- in the end -- tragedy in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Mississippi Sea Wolves (27-39-1-2) in front of an announced crowd of 5,542 at James Brown Arena.
The two teams combined for seven major penalties for fighting and a 10-minute game misconduct call in a fast-paced night of hockey that saw the Lynx blow a three-goal lead with 15 minutes left.
"It was definitely disappointing to let a lead like that go," Lynx defenseman Jason Platt said. "When you have a 5-2 lead in the third period, you need to win those games."
Platt, along with Lynx captain Louis Goulet and injured defenseman Ken Scuderi, coached the Lynx for the third consecutive game after Ferguson left the team on Tuesday for personal reasons. Lynx co-owner and general manager Dan Troutman took Ferguson's spot on the bench and watched the team self-destruct late in the third period.
"They certainly wanted to win for Bob," Troutman said. "They wanted to put those three Ws up there. When we went to the shootout, I thought we had a good chance."
The Sea Wolves were happy just to play extra hockey after falling behind 5-2 on a pair of goals by Bobby Bolt and Shane Hynes to start the third period.
But the Mississippi comeback took only 7 minutes.
Forward Brandon Scero began the rally by beating Lynx goaltender J.P. Levasseur with 14:35 left to make it a 5-3 game.
At the 9-minute mark, Ryan Menei caught the puck out of the air in his offensive zone and sent it to the ice, then into the net to pull within one.
Andy Contois swatted at a puck chest-high in front of the Lynx net on a rebound and put it home with 7:31 left to score the game-tying goal.
After a scoreless overtime period, Mississippi's Chase Trull and Jason Tejchma scored the first and last shootout goals.
The Lynx were denied by Sea Wolves goaltender John Hallas on all four of their attempts in the shootout.
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.