Saturday's Morning Skate 3/14

Saturday, March 14, 2015
Phantoms look to continue their success on the road on this trip tonight in Bridgeport.
The intensity of the games are picking up as teams outside of the playoff race are making what is a last ditch effort to get into the playoffs with less than 20 games left on teams' respecitve regular season schedules. All three games involving East Division teams Friday night were 2-1 final scores including two thrilling victories extended past regulation.

Last night, I was at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms snuck past the PBruins in a shootout. Tonight, it's the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT as the Phantoms look to make it three straight wins on their current five game road trip.

You can follow all of the action with the latest live in-game updates on Twitter by following me -> @TonyAndrock_TCG.

East Division Standings (through 3/13's games)

1. Hershey: 15 games remaining, 37-17-5-2 = 81 points
2. W-B/Scranton: 16 games remaining, 35-19-2-4 = 76 points
3. Lehigh Valley: 17 games remaining, 28-24-6-1 = 63 points
4. Binghamton: 16 games remaining, 25-27-7-1 = 58 points
5. Norfolk: 16 games remaining, 22-30-5-3 = 52 points

Eastern Conference Standings

* = Division leaders

*1. Manchester: 16 games remaining, 37-15-6-2 = 82 points
*2. Hershey: 15 games remaining, 37-17-5-2 = 81 points
*3. Syracuse: 17 games remaining, 34-17-8-0 = 76 points
4. W-B/Scranton: 16 games remaining, 35-19-2-4 = 76 points
5. Providence: 15 games remaining, 32-20-7-2 = 73 points
6. Portland: 16 games remaining, 34-22-3-1 = 72 points
7. Springfield: 15 games remaining, 32-22-7-0 = 71 points
8. Worcester: 16 games remaining, 32-22-4-2 = 70 points
9. Hartford: 16 games remaining, 31-21-5-3 = 70 points
10. St. John's: 13 games remaining, 29-26-6-2 = 66 points
11. Albany: 16 games remaining, 27-23-5-5 = 64 points
12. Lehigh Valley: 17 games remaining, 28-24-6-1 = 63 points

Lehigh Valley - 2 at Providence - 1 (SO)

In Providence, the PBruins and Phantoms scored first period power play goals before settling in and playing a low-scoring tight defensively approached game that resulted in no goals until the third round of the shootout when Scott Laughton used one of many nifty moves he displayed on the night to win the game for Lehigh Valley.

After Colin Stuart tipped a Steve Eminger power play point shot to give the PBruins a 1-0 lead late in the first period, back-to-back penalties 25 seconds apart gave the Phantoms a chance to tie things up and they did with 1.1 seconds left before the first intermisison when Adam Comrie's slap shot blistered past Jeremy Smith. Rob Zepp stopped 33 of 34 shots plus all three shootout attempts - including an Alexander Khokhlachev shot off the post to seal the win in the bottom half of the third round.

The Phantoms look to make it three straight wins on this road trip Saturday night against Bridgeport while Providence sees their 11-game home winning streak snapped and heads to Sprinfield in another important Eastern Conference match up tonight.

Hershey - 2 at Binghamton - 1

In Binghamton, Hershey took an early 2-0 lead 6:52 into play and never really looked back - holding onto a one-goal lead in the final 14:32 of the game behind 21 saves from Pheonix Copley.

Casey Wellman tallied his 21st of the season and also assisted on Chris Brown's power play goal to lead the Bears. Brad Mills scored just his 2nd goal of the season for the BSens, who got 30 saves on 32 shots from goaltender Peter Mannino.

The Bears head back to Mohegan Sun Arena for another East Division showdown with the Penguins tonight while Binghamton hosts Hartford with their playoff aspirations fading.

Norfolk - 1 at Portland - 2 (OT)

In Portland, the Admirals held a 1-0 lead thanks to a Louis Leblanc second period all the way until there was 1:17 left in the third period. Tyler Gaudet scored the Pirates' extra attacker goal to force overtime and in the extra session former Penguin Dylan Reese played the role of hero - notching his 9th of the season to give Portland the extra point in the standings to keep pace in the Eastern Conference.

Mike McKenna stopped all but one of the 31 shots he faced in the win for the Pirates, while Jason LaBarbera stopped 23 of 25 in the loss for Norfolk. These two teams rematch tonight in Maine.

Other Eastern Conference Scores

Manchester - 4 at St. John's - 5 (OT)
Worcester - 2 at Albany - 3
Hartford - 2 at Springfield - 1
Adirondack - 4 at Syracuse - 7

Saturday's Eastern Conference Schedule

Syracuse at Albany, 5:00 p.m. ET
Manchester at St. John's, 6:00 p.m. ET
Lehigh Valley at Bridgeport, 7:00 p.m. ET
Norfolk at Portland, 7:00 p.m. ET
Providence at Springfield, 7:00 p.m. ET
Hartford at Binghamton, 7:05 p.m. ET
Hershey at W-B/Scranton, 7:05 p.m. ET


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